A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds today and dangled precariously, prompting plans for engineers and inspectors to climb 74 flights of stairs to examine it as a huge storm bore down on the city. The harrowing inspection task was being undertaken by experts who are "the best of the best," city Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said.
Some buildings, including the Parker Meridien hotel, were being evacuated as a precaution and the streets below were cleared, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. Authorities received a call about at around 2pm as conditions worsened from the approaching Hurricane Sandy. Meteorologists said winds atop the building could have been close to 95 mph at the time. "I never liked that building, looking down into my bedroom," said Shannon Kaye, 96, who lives in the building next door. "I always had the feeling that something would come falling down from it."