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

Officials urged people in buildings facing the crane to seek shelter

Before the storm: A high-rise building under construction is shown next to high-rise condominium buildings, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in downtown Miami. As Hurricane Irma threatens to pound Miami with winds of mind-boggling power, a heavyweight hazard looms over the city’s skyline: two dozen enormous construction cranes. Because those cranes weren’t designed to withstand a storm of Irma’s ferocity, city officials are telling people who live in the shadows of the giant lifting devices to leave. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


^Crane is atop the brown building on the right side of the video.^


A crane atop a high-rise under construction in downtown Miami collapsed Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, amid strong winds from Hurricane Irma. (Gideon J. Ape via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — A crane atop a high-rise building under construction collapsed Sunday in downtown Miami amid strong winds from Hurricane Irma — the first known crash of the two dozen such heavyweight hazards looming over the city skyline as the monster storm powers across the state.

The crane collapsed in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near American Airlines Arena, according to a tweet from the city of Miami.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the collapse caused damage or injuries.

Emergency personnel were unable to respond because of high winds, Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said.

Though Miami is far from Irma’s landfall in the Florida Keys, winds from the 400-mile-wide storm were blasting through the metro area. The city was under a tornado watch Sunday.

Officials urged people in buildings facing the crane to seek shelter on the opposite side of the building or in a stairwell.

“AVOID THE AREA!!” the city’s tweet said.

Two dozen tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma. Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds, is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.



Copyright 2017 Associated Press. Video Courtesy: WFLA