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Seven Injured In Queens Crane Collapse

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Officials are investigating the cause of a crane collapse Wednesday afternoon at a Queens construction site that injured seven workers.

The New York City Fire Department says the crane fell around 2:20 p.m.

Department of Buildings officials say the 15-story mobile crane collapsed within a construction site located at 4610 Center Boulevard in Long Island City.

Work at the site remains suspended.

There were seven workers injured, but none of them were serious.

"The workers were under the crane in certain areas," Deputy Fire Chief Mark Ferran said. "We didn't need any heavy equipment to get them out but we did extricate three people."

Five men, ranging in ages from 23 to 55, were transported to nearby Elmhurst Hospital and are expected to survive, according to hospital officials.

Another two were taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

But many said they are just thankful that the injuries weren't any worse.

"We could have had something far more tragic happen here," Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

Witness Russel Roberson said he heard a snapping sound and then the crane started to come down. At that point he just ran for whatever cover he could find.

The accident occurred at the site of what will eventually be a 25-story residential building.

It is located along the East River waterfront, behind the neighborhood's iconic "Pepsi Cola" sign.

TF Cornerstone, the contractor overseeing the development, released a statement saying in part, "Site safety is always our first priority as it relates to construction, and we are cooperating fully with all relevant authorities to try and determine what caused this occurrence."

The Department of Buildings says engineers are still determining what caused the 170-feet-long crane to collapse.

The crane's owner, New York Crane, is the same company involved in the Upper East Side crane accident nearly five years ago.

Two construction workers were killed when the 200-foot crane crashed near 91st Street and First Avenue.

The company's owner, James Lomma, was later acquitted of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and assault charges in the case.

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