New York Trial: East Side Crane Collapse Killing 7 Could Have Been Prevented

07/20/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

New York, NY– Prosecutors charged the contractor who was involved in the deadly crane collapse that killed seven people. Authorities said the contractor could have prevented the horrific East Side disaster “with simple use of the two eyes in his head,” reports New York Daily News.

In the closing statements of the four-week manslaughter trial, prosecutors asserted that if William Rappetti, the crane rigger, had simply inspected the slings, which are used to hoist an 11,300-pound steel support collar, the accident could have been prevented. One of the steel support collars at a condo building, located at E. 51st Street, was severely damaged, causing the sling to fail an the collar to “free fall,” bringing down the crane.

The accident killed a total of seven people. The assistant Manhattan District Attorney stated the bodies of the dead were “smashed like glass bottles against the curb…Two had to be identified by fingerprints because there was so little left.”

Rapetti was accused of “cutting every corner there was.” For example, Rapetti used four slings instead of eight, which is recommended; he placed them in the incorrect places, and neglected to pad them against sharp edges on the crane mast.

Rapetti’s defense attorneys maintain that he is one of the most respected riggers in the city and that “hes an easy fall guy,” as no other potential causes were probe by investigators. But, prosecutors contend that “using him [Rapetti] as a model for how to rig a crane safely would be ‘like letting Cosa Nostra set the standards for money lending.”

Judge Roger Hayes is likely to reach a verdict on Thursday.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New York construction accident lawyers.

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