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New York City Crane Collapse Is Latest in Series of Deadly Accidents

by Helen Kwong and Corky Siemaszko /  / Updated 

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The deadly crane collapse in New York City on Friday was just the latest in a series of accidents that have killed and injured hard-working construction workers and bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A pedestrian, 38-year-old David Wichs, was killed when the crane in New York collapsed at around 8:30 a.m., officials said. Two other people were seriously hurt and a third suffered minor injuries, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Related: 1 Dead, 3 Hurt in Manhattan Crane Collapse

Since 2006, at least 21 workers across the country have been killed when the machines they rely on to lift heavy loads into the sky suddenly failed them, according to federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration figures obtained by NBC News.

In the deadliest of the most recent accidents, six hardhats employed by Joy Contractors Inc. fell to their deaths in March 2008 when their crane collapsed on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A seventh worker was injured but managed to survive, the OSHA records show.

That same month, two construction workers died and five others were injured in Miami, Florida, when part of a crane tumbled from a 40-story condominium and crashed through the roof of nearby house where the hardhats were meeting.

A collapsed crane is visible within the LyondellBasell Houston Refinery on July 18, 2008 in Houston.Steve Ueckert / AP, file

Four workers were killed and seven more were injured in July 2008 when a 30-story-tall crane flipped over backwards at a Houston, Texas, oil refinery, according to the records.

The most recent deadly crane incident listed in available OSHA records happened in February 2012 at a Jackson, Mississippi, steel company. Two workers were using a crane to lift a 442-pound steel plate when the bolts holding the machine in place gave way. The crane collapsed and crushed one of the workers.

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