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Steel beam falls from NYC crane, killing 2 workers

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NEW YORK — Authorities say a steel beam being hoisted at a New York City construction site fell after a cable apparently snapped, killing a crane operator and a co-worker.

The beam was being lifted when it came loose Tuesday afternoon in the Briarwood neighborhood of Queens.

Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler told WABC-TV the 6,500-pound beam fell from the fourth floor onto the crane, crushing the workers. He says rigging rope may have failed.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated, but Chandler said wind does not appear to be a factor.

Chandler said the crane was last inspected in June.

Police identified the male victims as a 43-year-old and a 47-year-old. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

A residential building is going up at the site.