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Morgenthau: Crane Accident Was Avoidable

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Following a nine-month investigation into a crane accident that killed seven people last year, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says the accident could have been avoided.

REPORTER: Morgenthau says the contractor, William Rapetti, failed to use the recommended new slings to hold up a heavy piece of equipment. Morgenthau says Rapetti should have used 8 slings, but instead only used 4 used ones, one of which was badly worn.

MORGENTHAU: A sling costs 50 dollars and Rapetti was willing to risk people's lives for failing to use slings that cost 50 dollars.]

REPORTER: But Rapetti's lawyer says the slings Morgenthau showed reporters may not have been the ones that were used.

AIDALA: Where did those straps come from? Really. Do you know how many straps are on the scene, that may not even be used, that may be in a bucket, that Bill Rapetti looked at and said, "Wow, that strap looks horrible. Let's toss that strap aside."

REPORTER: Rapetti's next court appearance is February 19th. Each of the seven manslaughter charges carries up to 15 years in prison if he is found guilty, although the sentences would probably be served at the same time.

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