Firefighters on the water and land are on the scene of an excavation crane that fell into Newark Bay.

US Coast Guard and Union County Marine Unit at crane accident scene in Newark Bay: (@NYmediaBoat via Twitter)

A fire department spokesman says it happened Thursday near Delancey Street.

The  Star-Ledger reports a man was inside the cab of the crane when it fell into the bay. "I was the first one in the water, but there was nothing I could do,” recalled Mike Rios a fellow crane operator at the same site who watched the crane fall into the Bay.

Rios said they were both working on a flood-control project. He says the excavator was on top of a stone wall when it began to slip and the operator put it into reverse.Several people tried to get to the trapped operator without success.

State Police tell CBS New York the operator of the crane is unaccounted for.

Video from News 12 New Jersey shows the construction equipment submerged in water and mud.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.