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Eight Injured When Truck Plows Into Chinatown Building

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A cement truck coming off of the Manhattan Bridge crashed into a cell phone store on Canal Street Street today, injuring eight people, and badly damaging a row of parked cars. For years,residents in Chinatown have complained about the danger to pedestrians near the bridge.

According to the Tribeca Tribune, four of those injured remain hospitalized in “serious but stable condition.”

The other four were treated and released. It was not immediately clear what caused the driver of the truck to lose control. The Trib reported, “firefighters pulled the crippled cement truck out of the storefront with a winch on the back of a FDNY rescue truck.” Streetsblog reader Matt Hogan indicated the truck appeared to be “packed with what looked like 50-pound bags of cement… The rear of the vehicle is outfitted with an apparatus for
mixing and pouring out concrete, he said.

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As Streetsblog put it, “vehicles exiting the Manhattan Bridge have turned this block, often
teeming with people waiting for the Fung Wah Bus, into a constant
danger zone.” In 2008 a dump truck coming off the bridge crashed into one of the company’s buses. A 57-year old woman was hit by falling debris, and then suffered a fatal heart attack.

Tonight, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released a statement about the accident:

Our heart goes out to the victims of today’s tragic crash on Canal Street and to their families. This incident is another painful reminder of the deep need to improve pedestrian safety and traffic management in Chinatown.  That’s why we proposed a 9-point plan for pedestrian safety for Chinatown; have been working closely with New York City Department of Transportation as they work to improve traffic and safety; and have been pushing legislation on this issue in Albany. We continue to believe it is both possible and imperative to overcome the unique pedestrian safety challenges our community faces. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues in government and with the NYC DOT on creative and aggressive solutions.

Last month, Chinatown activist Jan Lee, noted that several key community leaders chose to stay away from the centennial celebration of the Manhattan Bridge to protest the DOT’s failure to improve safety conditions on Canal Street.

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