A large part of Hell’s Kitchen is cordoned off this morning after a crane caught fire above the construction site at 550 10th Avenue and the headquarters of Covenant House at 7:25am. The area around 10th Avenue from W43rd Street down to W39th Street around the Lincoln Tunnel is closed off as firefighters tackle the blaze, which has been escalated to a five-alarm incident.

Crane Fire
The scene on 10th Avenue and W42nd Street with a crane on fire this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

It is reported that two firefighters and four civilians suffered non-life-threatening injuries from falling debris when the crane’s boom and its 16-ton load collapsed into 10th Avenue between W40th and W41st Street. “As you see from the debris on the street, this could have been much worse,” said Mayor Eric Adams at a hastily arranged press conference at the site of the incident.

The structure struck the top of luxury apartment building 555TEN on the way down. Fire crews appeared to be taking water from the rooftop swimming pool at 555TEN to spray across 10th Avenue. At the peak of the fire, 200 firefighters and EMS personnel were in attendance.

First Deputy Fire Commissioner Joe Pfeifer told the press conference that the incident occurred above the roofline in the engine compartment: “A crane operator was operating the crane, lifting 16 tons of concrete, when he saw the fire and tried to extinguish it. So we give a lot of credit to the crane operator, but the fire overwhelmed the operator and he had to exit the crane.” The NY Crane operator is unhurt. “Why we’re so lucky is not only the boom falling to the street, but all of that concrete could have struck civilians,” added Chief Pfeifer.

Crane Fire
Fire crews spraying water from the rooftop swimming pool at 555TEN across 10th Avenue to the crane on fire this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Michael William G, who lives across 10th Avenue from the fire, said that he and his partner “were getting ready and heard a collective scream. Then a loud crashing sound. We looked out our window and saw people running.”

The 47-story residential skyscraper at 550 10th Avenue is being developed by Gotham Organisation, with amenities including an upper-level lounge and adjacent outdoor sky deck with views of the Empire State Building, Hudson Yards and sunsets over the Hudson River.

Nearby buildings, including 555TEN, YOTEL, The Victory, 500 W42nd Street and MiMa, were evacuated out of fear of a collapse of the remaining support structure of the crane. NYPD is advising that people use alternate routes to avoid the area. M11 and M42 buses are detoured in both directions. Video from New Jersey showed long lines of buses backed up and waiting to come through the Lincoln Tunnel.

Officials report that 120 residents of Covenant House youth shelter next to the construction site have been evacuated too.

Crane Fire
The construction crane on fire over Hell’s Kitchen this morning. Photo: Phil O’Brien

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Crane Fire Collapse
The crane collapsed onto 10th Avenue between W40th and W41st Street. Photo: Ryan Brodsky
Crane Fire
The crane on fire viewed from 11th Avenue. Photo: Phil O’Brien
Fire Crane water
Fire crews spraying water from the rooftop swimming pool at 555TEN across 10th Avenue to the crane on fire this morning. Photo: Ryan Brodsky
Mayor Adams Crane Fire scene
New York Mayor Eric Adams with officials holding a press conference at the scene this morning. Photo: NYC Mayor Twitter
10th Avenue Crane Collapse
The boom of the crane and its 16-ton load of concrete fell onto 10th Avenue between W40th and W41st Streets. Photo:: Jeannie
Crane Smoke view from 11th Avenue
The smoke from the crane fire could be seen for miles over Hell’s Kitchen and New York. Photo: Phil O’Brien
Crane Fire above Lincoln Tunnel
The crane on fire above the Lincoln Tunnel this morning in Hell’s Kitchen. Photo: Bryan Ware

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12 Comments

    1. A lot of the times, TV news often gets stories wrong, and it’s not always just early reports. Sometimes things are not corrected for a day or two, then suddenly some CORRECT facts come out; meanwhile other sources had the right scoop the whole time!!

    1. CNN is not worth watching. In its’ early days, there was a time when it was a good news channel, like at the time of Challenger disaster and other live breaking events.

    1. When you mentioned the M34A and M42, you forgot to include the uptown M11 on 10th Avenue. Your writer should get his/her information right, before sending it out.

  1. You guys did a great job. You have more information and better images than the major news channels.

  2. Amazing photographs.
    Especially that one of the crane aflame!
    Wow – hard to imagine that skinny thing lifting 16 tons.

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