Tower Crane Spins As Irma Outer Bands Hit Miami

A collapsed construction crane is seen in Downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma arrives at south Florida

A crane atop a high-rise building under construction collapsed Sunday in downtown Miami amid strong winds from Hurricane Irma - the first known crash of the two dozen such heavyweight hazards looming over the city skyline as the monster storm powers across the state.

The deputy director of Miami's building department, Maurice Pons, said in the city's statement that he "would not advise staying in a building next to a construction crane during a major hurricane like Irma".

According to reports from city officials, the crane fell on Biscayne Boulevard, located in the heart of downtown Miami. There are about 20 to 25 construction cranes in the city, according to city officials.

The cranes were thought to be able to withstand the direct hit of a Category 4 hurricane, however, Irma's winds in Miami are just at the Category 1 level. "Taking them is not something you can easily do". People also posted pictures of the cranes. Although Miami will miss the worst of Irma's top winds of 130 miles per hour, the Miami has seen gusts of up to 100 miles per hour. "We will have a crew over to secure the crane as soon as the weather permits".

"The crane structure can collapse", said Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso earlier this week. As the city of Miami said in its news release about the risk, "The crane's arm has to remain loose; it is not tied down".

Alfonso said there were no reported injuries or deaths so far from the storm.

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