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The crane was being used to work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Eyewitnesses said the crane started falling slowly, and then literally crashed.
"Luckily, there were no cars right under it," Balam Arana said. "There were no cars getting hit, or anything like that. There was an accident, though, right in front of me and literally in front of the crane.
Listen to the full eyewitness account from Balam Arana:
Officials said 2 women and a man suffered minor injuries in that accident. Two Tappan Zee Bridge workers also suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
The priority is getting the stuck motorists off the bridge. That process is already underway.
After crane is removed, crews must determine the structural integrity of the bridge.
How long that will take is up to the structural engineers
Images from NewsCopter 7 shortly after the collapse showed debris across the highway and traffic backed up for miles.
The NYS Thruway Authority said that northbound traffic is being detoured at exit 8 (White Plains - Rye - Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287)). Southbound traffic is being detoured at exit 12 (West Nyack - NY Route 303 - Palisades Center Drive).
Authorities are advising drivers to avoid the Tappan Zee Bridge and surrounding area and expect extensive traffic delays.
Stay with Eyewitness News for continuing updates.
Photos from the scene shared via social media:
Exclusive view from the Hudson of the crane collapse at the Tappan Zee Bridge. pic.twitter.com/AwM51dzM5w— Marcus Solis (@MarcusSolis7) July 19, 2016