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World Trade Center construction site accident was a close call

Accidents at job sites can often leave physical scars at the scene, both on people and their surroundings, because of the volatile nature of some machines. Similarly, accidents on construction sites are often amplified because of the sheer weight of the equipment needed to build buildings. And when accidents happen at one of the largest and highest-profile sites around, the results can be devastating.

Fortunately for everyone involved, the construction accident at the World Trade Center site in New York last month did not leave any injuries behind in its wake. But the damage could have been monumental. The cable on a crane snapped while carrying three 62-foot steel beams, each weighing more than six tons.

The beams came crashing down onto a flatbed truck that was parked 40 stories below. Witnesses described the sound of the collision as thunderous. There were no workers in the truck at the time, and a spokesman with the construction company said the area of the accident was not accessible to the public. However, many people around the city saw and heard the steel hit the truck.

Even though there were no injuries in this incident, working in construction remains an extremely dangerous vocation. The contractor said it was working with city and state agencies to investigate the accident, but regardless of the outcome, the danger will remain for workers who are tasked with rebuilding New York's skyscrapers. While the scale may be smaller for other construction jobs in Schenectady or elsewhere around the state, accidents at any construction site can still be life-changing.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Construction Accident Shakes World Trade Center," Sean Gardiner, James Campbell and Aaron Rutkoff, Feb. 16, 2012

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