NEW YORK — CBS New York has obtained records showing New York City has now cited a construction contractor for the Hell’s Kitchen crane fire that happened back in July.
And investigative reporter Tim McNicholas learned it could be forced to pay a $25,000 penalty.
City buildings inspectors say the contractor, Monadnock Construction, failed to safeguard the entire construction site. On Monday, two months after the fire, work began to remove what’s left of that massive crane.
High above Manhattan on Monday morning, Hell’s Kitchen resident Yash Madhura woke up, looked out his window and saw a sight that brought back bad memories. Workers were using a derrick to remove the damaged crane that caught fire in July and collapsed onto another building across the street, injuring 12 people and cracking Madhura’s window.
“I’m scared again,” Madhura said. “I’m not the same friend. I’m not the same worker. This has affected my life terribly.”
Building inspectors told CBS New York they served a violation notice late last month to the general contractor, Monadnock Construction, because of the crane fire.
The violation notice does not go into many specifics, but it says the company failed to safeguard “all persons and property affected by construction operations.”
The Buildings Department told CBS New York it is the general contractor’s responsibility to safeguard against things such as fires.
Madhura said he’s still living in another unit because of the collapse.
“I’ve been placed into a matchbox-sized unit,” Madhura said. “I’ve been affected physically, emotionally, mentally.”
The city says it’s still investigating the cause of the fire, but the violation notice blames a hydraulic leak.
As for the crane, work will continue Tuesday to remove what’s left of it.
“I’m happy they’re taking it down. I want to be safe again. I want Hell’s Kitchen to be safe again,” Madhura said.
The city said it is also still investigating the crane operator and several other people involved. Monadnock sent CBS New York a statement saying safety is a top priority and it is working with the city to safely dismantle the crane. There is a hearing in November in regards to that violation.
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