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New York crane collapse death toll reaches seven

Rescuers pulled three more bodies from the rubble at the site of a crane crash in New York yesterday, raising the death toll to seven.

The crane crashed down in an area of Manhattan on Saturday, injuring dozens and damaging six buildings. The bodies found today were believed to be those of two construction workers and of a woman who had been visiting a nearby townhouse which was demolished when the crane collapsed.

The woman was in her friend's second-floor apartment at the time of the accident, he said. Her friend was rescued.

Debris was cleared 'delicately and meticulously' to prevent further damage, said Buildings Department commissioner Pat Lancaster, who joined the mayor and other officials at the scene.

Crews also removed a 7.6m section of the white crane that broke into pieces on Saturday afternoon, and had about 55m left to remove, along with piles of the debris from the damaged buildings, Mr Lancaster said.

The crane rose 19 storeys and was attached to an apartment tower under construction when it broke away on Saturday and toppled like a tree on to buildings as far as a block away.

Seven people were killed in the accident. Twenty-four others were injured, including 11 first responders, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. Eight people remain in hospital, officials said.

Officials were investigating whether human or mechanical error led to the construction-site accident, which the mayor described as among the city's worst. City officials said the broken crane passed an inspection on Friday.

Related links: Three missing after NY crane collapse