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Crane hits side of New York City building

By Edmund DeMarche, CNN
  • Crane tips, falls against side of 25-story building in Manhattan
  • No injuries have been reported
  • Two streets were shut down as precautionary measure

New York (CNN) -- A large crane stuck the side of a 25-story building in lower Manhattan on Saturday evening, causing precautionary evacuations and street closures, authorities said.

There were no reported injuries.

Fire department officials said a crane carrying a wrecking ball slipped and struck the 23rd floor of 80 Maiden Lane, damaging a portion of the exterior.

Up to 30 fire units responded before the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Buildings took over the response operation.

Crews were trying to correct the crane, a fire official said.

It's unclear what caused the crane to slide, but first responders noticed a 33-degree bend in the boom, which might indicate a problem with its hydraulics, the official said.

"I heard it creaking; it was loud when it shifted," said Benny Doro, who works at a nearby restaurant.

Doro said he noticed the crane lifting large air conditioning units often found atop buildings throughout the city.

Police have shut down two nearby streets as a precaution.

"You heard the collision and saw large bricks fall," said Ryan Reed, who lives nearby. "We panicked and ran up the street. I've served in the military, but this was the first time I ran for my life."

Reed left his apartment when he saw the crane outside his window slowly drift downward. He noticed a cable from the crane touching the other building.

"I knew something was wrong," he said.

He quickly checked to see if workers were still on the job, but they had left for the day. He told neighbors about the problem and called 911. Around that time, the crane hit the adjacent building.

"I'm still shaken up," he said.

In May 2008, New York suspended all construction crane activity after one collapsed on the Upper East Side, killing two construction workers.