The 20- to 25-tower cranes now in use in Miami were created to withstand 145-mile-an-hour winds, city officials said last week.
Officials with developer The Related Group told the Sun-Sentinel the crane collapse caused no injuries and did not appear to damage anything else.
The deputy director of Miami's building department, Maurice Pons, said in the city's statement that he "would not advise staying in a building next to a construction crane during a major hurricane like Irma". Just behind me you can see one section of Miami's lovely glass filled skyline. They are built to withstand high winds, but maybe not to withstand Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma approaches Cuba and Florida. NOAA via AP
Miami's emergency management director, Pete Gomez, said conditions remain unsafe and replacement crews will not be coming in until the weather improves.
Dan Whiteman, vice chairman Coastal Construction, said he has 12 cranes in the Miami area.
"Streets have to be closed, another crane has to be brought in", he said.
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The massive storm made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday morning after battering several islands in the Caribbean earlier this week, leaving 22 dead. According to the Weather Channel, Miami had seen reports of gusts above 130 miles per hour with several reports in the 100 miles per hour range.
But even as officials warned that the cranes could pose a serious threat, they said it was impossible to move them before the hurricane arrived.
After the collapse, the boom was partly dangling on the side of the building, attached to the crane tower by a cable, photos on Twitter showed.
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Tower cranes can rise hundreds of feet into the air on steel frameworks, and are used to lift steel, concrete, heavy construction equipment and other building materials. The employee captured video of the collapse.
A partially submerged auto at a flooded area in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives in south Florida, in Miami, Fla., on September 10, 2017.
The horizontal arms of some cranes were left loose to spin in the winds.
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