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Crane Carrying Beam Crashes Into 4 World Trade Center, Shattering Windows

By  Julie  Shapiro and Paul DeBenedetto | June 27, 2012 12:50pm | Updated on June 27, 2012 4:13pm

LOWER MANHATTAN — A crane raising a steel beam crashed into 4 World Trade Center Wednesday, shattering glass toward the top of the building, authorities said.

Fifty firefighters responded to the scene after being alerted to the accident on the south side of the rising tower about 11:30 a.m., the FDNY said.

Construction workers at the scene said that the beam began to spin and crashed into a few panels of glass about 50 stories up due to high winds.

Police taped off Church Street between Cortland and Rector streets and closed Zucotti Park, and workers were asked to leave the building.

"I just heard on the speaker, 'Evacuate the building,'" said 50-year-old plumber Kevin Stone, who described the scene as "orderly."

"Nobody panicked," he added.

The falling glass also shut down the 9/11 Memorial for the afternoon, officials said.

Tishman Construction, the general contractor at 4 World Trade Center, released a statement saying "a sudden gust of wind" caused a load of steel to hit the tower's glass.

"As a result, some pieces of glass fell onto Liberty Street," Tishman's statement said. "Fortunately, the street was closed at the time, and the Liberty Street sidewalk is protected by a construction shed."

"There are no reports of injuries," the statement continued. "We have suspended steel lifts pending an investigation, are inspecting the entire facade of the building and are reviewing protocols for evaluating weather conditions."

This is the second accident at the site in as many days. On Tuesday, a 37-year-old construction worker at 4 World Trade Center fell and impaled himself on a metal rod.