Two men, a 47-year-old and a 43-year-old, operated the crane at around 12:11 p.m. local time on 134th Street in Briarwood. The construction workers attempted to lift a 30-foot steel beam when it started to swing out of control and eventually fall from the crane.
The New York Daily News reports that the two construction workers died instantly when struck by the beam. Mayor Bill de Blasio says it is unknown whether the accident was due to a mechanical or human error.
The construction site is located at an existing six-story apartment complex, reports The New York Daily News. Two cranes were present at the site at the time of accident.
The New York Daily News spoke with a man from the New York District Council of Carpenters who said he was amazed somebody was crazy enough to use a mobile crane on a windy day like today. According to the man, 90 percent of workers in his labor organization did not work on Tuesday due to the strong winds.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Cranes Express, the company that owned the crane involved in the fatal accident, in August 2015 for a previous work site incident.
New York’s Department of Buildings issued a wind advisory this past weekend, but it expired on Monday night.
The following information is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).