At around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, before the brunt of Hurricane Sandy even reached the city, a gust of wind snapped a crane at 157 West 57th street, leaving several tons of metal precipitously hanging 90 stories above the ground. Seven blocks surrounding the area were closed down and evacuated to avoid damage should the crane fall, but, with the storm on its way and winds already raging, no efforts could be made to secure or remove the hunk of machinery. Now, some 18 hours later, the storm has passed, but the crane still hangs. When asked yesterday how safe the dangling crane was, Mayor Bloomberg was frank, saying, “Nobody knows.”

The machine was affixed to the side of the much-ballyhooed (and New York mag-profiled) One57, an under-construction luxury high-rise that’s set to be the tallest building with residencies in the city, and has attracted several billionaire tenants. 

Check out video of the crane collapsing below.

(Photo: Bee Collins/Flickr)