NYC crane collapse raises new fears in Conn.

STAMFORD - Friday morning's deadly construction crane accident in New York City has caused some people in southwestern Connecticut to rethink the safety of local cranes.

There are close to half a dozen huge cranes currently towering over Stamford, many of them in the downtown area, and city officials say the skyline will bristle with even more cranes in the coming months.

Construction work is already under way on a new Ritz Carlton Hotel, and local residents are likely to see one or two new cranes by the end of the year.

According to one Stamford official, all of the cranes have been inspected and deemed safe. Still, the accident in Manhattan got some people thinking it would be a good idea to step up safety inspections.

?I think you need a monitor, a safety monitor that inspects the cranes right on site daily,? says Pat Conetta, president of Local Union 146, which represents many of the construction workers currently building the Trump Park Condominiums in Stamford. ?Let the contractor pick up the cost of inspecting their cranes on a daily basis.?

Friday?s crane accident occurred at around 8 a.m. on East 91st Street and First Avenue in Manhattan. The crane collapsed into an apartment building, killing at least two people and critically injuring two others. In March, another crane collapsed in New York City, killing seven.

Stamford experienced its own crane problems in August of last year when one of the cranes working on the new Royal Bank of Scotland building became unstable. That incident forced the evacuation of the surrounding area.

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