Jury selection started Monday in the trial of two firefighters killed in the 2007 blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building in Lower Manhattan and a judge estimates the trial will last four months.
A construction company foreman and two supervisors are facing manslaughter charges. Prosecutors allege both men knew about a major break in a water pipe and rather than fixing it, covered it up.
The men say regulators were at fault, not them.
The lack of water turned the building into a death trap for the firefighters.
The fire exposed other failures by the contractor Bovis Lend Lease and other government agencies that were involved in dismantling rubble from September 11 that was contaminated by debris from the aftermath of the attacks.
With reporting by Associated Press