"I believe the crane was pointed, the boom was pointed directly into the wind... That's why the boom went over backwards," McGettigan said. "[If] the crane was weathervaned and downwind, it's impossible for the boom to blow over backwards...but in a hurricane who knows which way the wind is blowing."
About one hour after the crane snapped, the city issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents in nearby buildings. Fire department officials went door to door at the posh Parker Meridien hotel, located at West 56th Street near Central Park, and ordered all guests to assemble in the lobby with their belongings and wait for instructions on where they would be sent.
Upon completion, One57 will be New York City's tallest residential building. The private building hosts 95 luxury condominium residences, including two duplexes under contract for more than $90 million each and seven luxury apartments ranging from $45 million to $50 million. It also will include a hotel and parking.
ABC News' Brian Ross, Josh Paris and Jean-Nicholas Fievet contributed to this report