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Crane operator’s license suspended

Mechanics and engineers yesterday righted a crane that struck a New York City high-rise Saturday. Mechanics and engineers yesterday righted a crane that struck a New York City high-rise Saturday. (Seth Wenig/ Associated Press)
Associated Press / March 29, 2010

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NEW YORK —The operator of a crane that tilted and hit a 25-story building near Wall Street has had his license suspended, city officials said yesterday.

Mechanics and engineers lowered and dismantled the crane, which struck the lower Manhattan building Saturday. The collision showered debris on the street and forced residents to flee.

Tony Sclafani, Department of Buildings spokesman, said inspectors determined that the crane operator, Christopher Cosban, did not secure the mobile machine properly at the end of the workday Saturday, which contributed to the accident. A final determination of the cause is pending.

The crane had been brought to the area to lift mechanical equipment to the roof of the building. A representative of the company that owns the crane, Bay Crane, declined to comment.

No injuries were reported about 7 p.m. Saturday after the crane hit a ledge near the top of the mixed-use building on Maiden Lane, the Fire Department said. Part of the building’s facade broke off and fell into the street.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes yesterday. Maiden Lane runs east to west, parallel to Wall Street, from near the South Street Seaport to lower Broadway.