According to reports, NYC is once again under siege from a wayward construction crane that collapsed from its perch near Hudson Yards. Though six people were injured, there were fortunately no deaths nor serious injuries after the crane caught fire, broke down, and cascaded towards the street below. Carrying sixteen tons of concrete, the crane, according to the NY Post, appears to be owned by the Lomma Crane Company. The now deceased James Lomma was previously indicted for Manslaughter and other crimes after a crane he owned crushed a man in 2008. A Manhattan jury acquitted him of those charges in 2012.
With the above in mind, beyond potential civil exposure, could the crane company owner face criminal charges for this second Lomma crane accident? Without knowing what the evidence will reveal – the cause of the fire, the condition of the crane, whether the crane had been inspected and up to date with repairs, how it was secured, etc. – one cannot say whether the NYPD would arrest a proprietor and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office would pursue criminal charges. However, what crimes could a crane owner or operator face in light of the fact that despite there being no deaths or serious injuries, a multi-ton crane could have wreaked havoc and worse on New Yorks below.