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Contractor Charged in Crane Collapse

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Long Island contractor has been charged with manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide, in the deadly crane collapse in Midtown last spring that killed seven people.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says crane rigger William Rapetti knowingly used old and deteriorated slings to hold up a five-ton collar that helped attach the crane to the condo tower that was under construction.

MORGENTHAU: The construction manager had new slings available which were offered to Rapetti, but he rejected them.

The older slings broke, and the collar fell, triggering the collapse of the 200-foot crane.

Morgenthau says Rapetti was not only using old slings, but he was not using enough slings. He says the manufacturer called for eight slings, and Rappetti only used four.

Rapetti's lawyer says he looks forward to clearing his client's name.

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