Workers at the World Trade Center got a scare when a crane cable snapped — and thousands of pounds of steel fell 40 stories down on a flatbed truck. Click below to read the rest of the story.


The metal

beams demolished the vehicle and just missed crushing the crane operator, who was rattled by his near-death experience but otherwise unhurt.

“It’s a miracle” nobody was killed, said steamfitter Mark Sherank, 45, who was in the middle of a safety meeting in nearby Building 4 when the steel fell.

“I looked outside I saw the truck t’s a pancake now,” he said. “A noise like that, you know something’s wrong.”

Another steamfitter, 43-year-old Erid Redd, said “the whole building shook.”

The impact sent up a cloud of dust and “the scene was chaos,” added an ironworker in Building 4.

“Everybody was running to see if they could help,” said the worker, who declined to give his name. “Suddenly there was a lot of noise and everybody ran for cover.”

The mighty crash also startled occupants of the nearby buildings — many of whom harbor horrific memories of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

“We came out because someone heard a boom,” said one woman, nervously smoking outside the Brooks Brothers store on Church St. “It brought back bad memories.”

The accident happened just before 10 a.m. near Church and Cortlandt Sts., toward the southeast corner of the 16-acre site, police and officials said.

“The cable of a crane broke, causing the steel it was lifting to fall approximately 40 stories back onto the flatbed truck that had transported the steel into the World Trade Center site,” said John Gallagher, spokesman for Tishman, the general contractor.

Gallagher did not say how heavy a load the crane was lifting, but workers estimated the steel weighed between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds.