8:00 p.m. UPDATE: Crews in Midtown are waiting until Hurricane Sandy passes before they attempt to secure the broken crane at One57, which will entail a climb up 74 flights of stairs in the unfinished building. The crane was last inspected Friday, a construction manager from crane operator Bovis Lend Lease told the New York Times.

5:50 p.m. UPDATE:  The steam and electricity has been shut down and the streets cordoned off in the area of the One 57 crane collapse, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference. The FDNY is handling the breakdown as a third-alarm situation. Emergency responders cannot secure the crane because of dangerous gusts from Hurricane Sandy. The cause of the collapse remains unclear. “Why it happened, nobody knows,” Bloomberg said, adding that the main body of the crane and the main cab seemed secure. “The crane’s been used a long time by a reputable company.” The arm of the crane apparently was lifted and flipped over the cab.

5:25 p.m. UPDATE: Le Parker Meriden Hotel at West 56th Street and 6th Avenue had to be evacuated, with 900 guests leaving due to risk from the nearby One57 crane collapse.

Original story: The crane on the 75th floor of billionaire condo haven One57 partially collapsed Tuesday afternoon and is now precariously dangling, dropping debris and glass onto West 56th Street.

No injuries have been reported so far, and there are emergency responders on the scene at 157 W. 57th St, evacuating nearby buildings, including Carnegie Tower and the 241-unit condo Metropolitan Tower.

The boom snapped back at 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from Lend Lease, the general contractor on the project. The city’s NotifyNYC Twitter account has instructed all residents of buildings on West 57th Street between 6th and 7th avenues to “immediately move to the lower floors of your building” and has told citizens to avoid the area.

WABC 7 estimated wind gusts of 100 mph from Hurricane Sandy at the top of the 1,005-feet under-construction condo, which is home to the $90 million penthouse, the most expensive apartment sold in the city.

One57 developer Gary Barnett told the New York Observer, “can’t talk now but we don’t know anything yet… We’re doing everything we can, and hopefully no one is going to get hurt.”

According to Gothamist: At a press conference, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told reporters, “I don’t think we know exactly what happened at this site. My office was informed that all construction sites on Friday were told to stop work, to prepare for the storm… What exactly happened here I don’t know. All the sites were told to stop work, to tie down with high storm, hurricane precautions.”

To prepare for the storm, the city suspended all construction work at 5 p.m. Saturday, according to the Associated Press. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday that it had secured its cranes at the World Trade Center site, including the booms above 1 World Trade Center, which are higher up than other construction equipment and could be especially subject to Hurricane Sandy’s gusts, Crain’s reported.

“Contrary to reports, there are no problems with any of the cranes at 1 World Trade Center or elsewhere on the site,” the Port Authority said in a statement. “The 1 World Trade Center cranes are properly secured, and the Port Authority has staff members on site and in the building around the clock to check and report on any potential problems.”

Officials and weather forecasters are predicting gusts reaching 90 miles per hour when the hurricane strikes land later this evening.

Photos from the scene below, taken by BuzzBuzzHome staff starting at 4:10 p.m.:

And lastly, a gentleman perfectly dressed for the weather.

Photos: Cliff Peskin

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