Construction crane bucket fell about 53 stories, crashing into the mid-Manhattan building's glass facade and raining down debris. Eight people suffered minor injuries.
Deputy Fire Chief John Sudnik said the accident happened around 1 p.m. at One Bryant Park, the site of a Bank of America Tower currently under construction at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
The crane's bucket fell from the top of the skyscraper, he said. The crane appeared structurally sound.
"All of a sudden tiny little pellets of glass were flying every place," said Charles Fiesel, 42, who was walking on 6th Avenue.
He said he grabbed a woman who was passing by and they ducked under scaffolding at the base of the building, avoiding injury.
Windows were broken on several floors of the tower, and glass was strewn on the street.
Those injured - four passers-by and four construction workers - suffered cuts and bruises.
The cleanup was expected to take several hours.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year