Inspector charged in New York crane case
You can see NowPublic member Ace Preston's report and photos from the scene here.
A Buildings Department inspector, Edward J. Marquette, has been arrested and charged with lying to New York City authorities about inspecting the crane that collapsed on Saturday afternoon, killing seven people, injuring dozens of others and causing widespread property damage. Officials issued a stern warning that corrupt workers will be punished, but said the failure to inspect the crane on March 4 was almost certainly not a factor in the deadly collapse, which officials think may have been caused by the failure of a nylon strap, which caused a massive steel collar to come loose.
Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the Department of Investigation, announced the arrest at a news conference shortly after 3 p.m. near the site of the collapse, at Second Avenue and East 51st Street in the Turtle Bay section of East Midtown, as officials gave an update on the effort to repair the damage and allow people back in to 18 buildings that had to be evacuated.
According to Ms. Hearn, a call to 311 was made on March 3 reporting concerns about the stability of the crane. In response, Mr. Marquette claimed to have inspected the crane the following day. “Marquette made false statements on his route sheet indicating that he had inspected the crane, when in fact he had admitted to D.O.I. that he did not inspect the crane on March 4,” she said.
Officials emphasized that Mr. Marquette’s failure to inspect the crane was likely not a factor in the collapse of the crane on March 15, which occurred as operators were preparing to “jump,” or extend, the crane.