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Crane accident in midtown Manhattan injures 10, damages high-rise building

A crane at a Manhattan office building broke free Sunday and fell about 28 stories to the sidewalk below

A piece of mechanical equipment being lifted by a crane at a Manhattan office building broke free Sunday morning and fell about 28 stories to the sidewalk below, causing minor injuries to 10 people, officials said.

Police said the call came in around 10:45 a.m. Officers who responded to the high-rise building in Midtown East found that a crane's payload heading to the top of the building had broken free. It fell to the sidewalk, shearing the side of the building along the way. The building is wider at the base and narrows at the higher floors.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking to reporters on Madison Avenue a block from the accident, called it "obviously, a very serious incident."

Of the 10 people who were injured, two were construction workers while the others were pedestrians and occupants of a car passing by, de Blasio said. All were struck by debris the falling crane knocked off the building facade as it struck the edges of lower floors that protrude from the tower, in a step-wise manner.

"Thank God, this incident occurred at an hour of the day on a weekend when there were not too many people around," de Blasio said.

He said a full investigation is underway. Streets were closed in the surrounding area, and officials hoped to have them open again by Monday morning's rush hour.

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