NEW YORK -- A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds and dangled precariously as a huge storm bore down on the city on Monday.
Residents in surrounding buildings were ordered to move to lower floors and the streets below were cleared, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
Authorities received a call about at around 2 p.m. as conditions worsened from the approaching Hurricane Sandy. Meteorologists said winds atop the building could have been close to 95 mph at the time.
The nearly completed building is known as One57 and is in one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods, near Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle and Central Park.
The New York Times recently called it a "global billionaires' club" because the nine full-floor apartments near the top have all been sold to billionaires. Among them are two duplexes under contract for more than $90 million each.
Shannon Kaye, 96, lives in the building next door.
"We heard a noise, but we didn't know what it was," she said. Minutes later, she and her neighbors were told to leave.
"I never liked that building, looking down into my bedroom," she said. "I always had the feeling that something would come falling down from it.”
The Buildings Department had suspended construction work at the building at 5 p.m. Saturday. It reminded contractors and property owners to secure construction sites and buildings.