Crane Collapses As Hurricane Irma Hits Downtown Miami

Hurricane Irma knocks down crane arm in Miami

Huge crane atop Miami high-rise collapses in Irma's winds

According to the Miami-Herald report, South Florida's chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and the Florida Crane Owners Council argued regulating cranes only involves the safety of construction workers, so federal workplace rules take precedence.

The weather service's Miami office said in a Tweet that one of its employees witnessed the crane boom and counterweight collapse in downtown Miami.

Though 110 miles from Irma's landfall in the Florida Keys, hurricane-force winds from the 400-mile-wide storm were being felt through the Miami area.

Authorities in Miami have also confirmed that two cranes have collapsed into buildings due to the strong winds. There are no injuries.

The storm slammed into Cudjoe Key at about 9 a.m. with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The city of Miami shared the story on Twitter on Sunday. The first crane snapped at the Vice apartment building at 300 Biscayne Blvd., on Sunday morning, where the crane's counter weight had fallen off and into the building. The building was still in tact despite the crane's failure. "But for the grace of God, that (collapse) could be me".

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.

But the horizontal arms of the tall tower cranes remained loose despite the potential danger of collapse.

"Hurricane winds are blowing in one direction but a tornado could twist things, and nothing can be created to withstand the tornado effect", Whiteman said.

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