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Crane Collapses in New York City; at least 1 dead

NEW YORK -- A construction crane collapsed Friday on New York's Upper East Side, smashing into a 23-story apartment building before crashing onto the street below and leaving at least one person dead.

It wasn't immediately clear whether there were additional fatalities. An Associated Press photographer saw a body at the scene at East 91st Street and First Avenue.

"The sound was like a thunder clap. Then, an earthquake," said Peter Barba, who lives across the street.

The Fire Department said it has pulled people out of the wreckage. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Firefighters and rescue workers continued to search through the wreckage.

Television footage showed the damage to the apartment building: The upper-floor balconies were severely damaged and a hole extended several stories down the side of the building.

The accident happened 2 1/2 months after a crane collapsed, killing seven people about two miles south.

In that March 15 accident, contractors building a 46-story condominium near the United Nations were trying to lengthen the crane when a steel support broke. The crane demolished a four-story town house and damaged several other buildings.

A city inspector resigned after his arrest on charges of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.

In April, the city's buildings commissioner resigned, under fire over a rising number of deadly construction accidents.

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