Senator Serrano Delivers Statement On Tragic Crane Collapse

José M. Serrano

May 30, 2008

Senator Serrano mourned the loss of life following the crane collapse on the Upper East Side this morning.
"Tragedy has struck this quiet corner of my district," said the Senator. "My heart goes out to the construction workers, residents and pedestrians who woke this morning to disaster," he said.
"Though construction work is dangerous, there is absolutely no excuse for these accidents. We have heard that the vertical tower crane on 91st Street was in compliance, which tells me that we must not only better enforce building rules, but comprehensively expand them," he said.
"In the coming days, I will press the Department of Buildings for information regarding the full and partial stop-work orders that were issued for this site, and why they were later rescinded," he said.
The Fire Department has established a command center at 91st Street and 2nd Avenue. The Red Cross will open a reception center and shelter, at approximately 3 p.m., at P.S. 198, 1700 Third Avenue, between East 95th and 96th Streets.
At least seven buildings in the immediate area are being evacuated. The Senator's staff will be on site helping residents navigate the services available.
"This is not the first crane collapse this year, but it must be the last," said the Senator, adding that he will fight alongside community leaders and elected officials to hold contractors and inspectors accountable.

"The break-neck pace of construction in this city has led developers to forgo safety concerns. We are putting human lives unnecessarily at risk. If we have the modern technology to build into the heavens, then we also have the know-how and wherewithal to protect all residents and construction workers at these sites."