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Crane smashes glass at 4 World Trade Center

Construction workers lift the final steel beam by

Construction workers lift the final steel beam by crane 977 feet in the air and placed atop 4 World Trade Center, which will be the first tower completed on the 16-acre WTC site when it opens in the fall of 2013. (June 25, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

A construction crane slipped as it lifted a beam up the south side of 4 World Trade Center Wednesday morning, shattering windows and raining shards of glass onto streets 45 stories below, officials said.

Panes on the skyscraper's 45th and 46th floors were broken in the 11:30 a.m. accident, a New York Fire Department spokesman said. He said the department would likely not investigate because no injuries were reported. The crane's weight apparently shifted as the beam was lifted, the department said.

Police shut down three blocks surrounding the site as a precaution, and the 9/11 Memorial was closed for the remainder of the day. The 9/11 Memorial will open for regular hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, spokesman Michael Frazier said. Those who had passes for Wednesday are urged to go to to make a new reservation for a free visitor pass.

About a dozen fire department vehicles and 60 firefighters responded to the accident, and glass and other debris were cleared from the ground.

It was the second mishap at the site in recent days. Tuesday morning, a construction worker was impaled by a steel rod at the site after he lost his footing and fell. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.

World Trade Center 4 -- which faces the 9/11 Memorial -- was topped off Monday with its last steel beam in a wave of emotional triumph.

Tower 4 will house the Port Authority and several city agencies. It will have shops and restaurants and a pedestrian walkway of cafes facing Church Street -- all leading to an underground transit hub of subways and the New Jersey PATH train system.

With Peter Catapano

and Ivan Pereira

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