Crane on Boat Strikes Scaffolding on Brooklyn Bridge

About 20 feet of scaffolding on the underside of the bridge was damaged.

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012  |  Updated 8:58 AM EDT
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A crane being carried on a vessel struck scaffolding attached to the underside of New York City's Brooklyn Bridge.

NBC New York

A crane being carried on a vessel struck scaffolding attached to the underside of New York City's Brooklyn Bridge.

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A crane being carried on a boat along the East River struck scaffolding attached to the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday night, officials said.

The FDNY says there are no reports of injuries in the accident, which happened just after 8 p.m. Officials say there doesn't appear to be any structural damage to the bridge, which crosses the East River and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.

"I just heard this horrible screeching of metal on metal, and we looked over and couldn't believe our eyes," said Brooklyn resident John Scully, who was walking with his wife along a DUMBO overlook when they saw the crane go against the bridge. "This tugboat was carrying this crane... and it just started scraping against the bottom of the bridge. We saw loads of sparks and heard a really bad screeching."

About 20 feet of scaffolding on the underside of the bridge was damaged.

The scaffolding was being used by workers to repaint the bridge, designated by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark.

Twenty units were on the scene within three minutes, according to FDNY deputy chief Vinny Mandala. An engineer will make a full assessment of the damage. 

Mandala said he couldn't recall a tugboat ever hitting a bridge in his 32 years as a firefighter.

The Coast Guard has taken over the investigation and is expected to interview the tugboat captain.

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