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TriBeCa crane-collapse probe gets help from manufacturer

The cab and base of a crane lay

The cab and base of a crane lay flipped over in the aftermath of a collapse on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, on Worth Street in TriBeCa. Credit: Craig Ruttle

A representative of the company that made the crane that collapsed last week in TriBeCa and killed a man is helping the accident probe, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday was a “very serious investigation.”

“There are numerous angles being looked at here, including a forensic investigation related to the equipment itself,” de Blasio said at a news conference on an unrelated matter. He gave no timetable for a conclusion to the investigation.

Officials said a model LR 1300 crawler crane, produced by the Biberach, Germany, division of Liebherr-International AG of Switzerland, collapsed onto Worth Street at West Broadway on Friday as it was being secured because of gusting winds.

Stock market mathematician David Wichs, 38, was killed and two other pedestrians were injured.

In a statement to Newsday on Wednesday, a spokesman for Liebherr said the company was “extremely saddened by the accident and the fatality and injuries.”

“As the crane manufacturer we do everything in our power to help bring the accident investigations to a speedy and logical conclusion,” spokesman Kristian Kueppers said in the statement.

To assist investigators, the company sent a service engineer to New York after being contacted by city officials, Kueppers said. He said any discussion about why the crane toppled would be “pure speculation.”

Crane experts who have viewed an amateur video of the collapse said it appeared that human error and windy conditions might have contributed to the accident. The experts noted that the long “luffing jib” may have been improperly positioned. City officials have said there is no indication of any criminal conduct.

The 565-foot crane is owned by Bay Crane Co. of Long Island City, Queens, and was under the operation of Galasso Trucking and Rigging of Maspeth, Queens. It was being used to move equipment to the upper levels of the old Western Union building at 60 Hudson St.

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