Crane collapses as winds howl in South Florida

Irma's Winds Buckle Three Giant Cranes In South Florida

Dan Whiteman, vice chairman of Coastal Construction, has 12 cranes in the Miami area.

According to reports from city officials, the crane fell on Biscayne Boulevard, located in the heart of downtown Miami.

A second crane collapse was later reported at a building under construction, the Gran Paraiso development on Northeast 30th Terrace.

The images of a crane toppled over a high rise flooded social media as Irma landed on the southern tip of Florida's coast September 10.

"We heard a loud crack toward the bay", Ape said.

Hurricane Irma continues on it's path of destruction, having recently made landfall in Florida.

The city and surrounding areas were under a tornado watch Sunday.

A collapsed construction crane seen in downtown Miami
A collapsed construction crane seen in downtown Miami

More than two dozen cranes hang over residents' heads with horizontal arms of the tall tower devices hanging loose as they could not be tied down or moved in preparation for Irma.

Whiteman said videos of the first collapse posted on social media showed a tower crane that appeared to have lost its jib or boom, though its mast was still standing.

"If we get a direct hit, the widespread damage is not going to be done by a crane failure", Whiteman said.

As member station WLRN reports from Miami, "City Manager Daniel Alfonso says officials knew Irma could be a serious threat with about a week's notice, and that wasn't enough time to take all the cranes down".

Only a few contractors are certified to remove those cranes, he said.

Tower cranes can rise hundreds of feet into the air on steel frameworks, and are used to lift steel, concrete, heavy construction equipment and other building materials.

Apparently, the cranes are built to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, and while the weather experts in the United States have been tracking Irma for over a week, there was no confident way of predicting the direction it might head in.

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