Manhattan Crane Collapse Trial Opens

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 PM EDT
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Manhattan Crane Collapse Trial Opens

A prosecutor says a crane worker made “inexcusable” choices that caused a 200-foot-tall rig to crash in a Manhattan collapse that killed seven people.

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A prosecutor says a crane worker made “inexcusable” choices that caused a 200-foot-tall rig to crash in a Manhattan collapse that killed seven people. But his lawyer says the rigger is being blamed for other people's mistakes.

William Rapetti's manslaughter trial opened Tuesday in Manhattan. It's the first trial stemming from the March 2008 disaster, which was one of the nation's deadliest crane accidents.

Assistant District Attorney Sean Sullivan says Rapetti recklessly ignored safety standards for polyester straps he used to secure a six-ton piece of steel on the crane. Prosecutors say the straps failed and destabilized the crane.

Defense lawyer Arthur Aidala says the crane wasn't anchored properly to the ground, and the collapse wasn't triggered by the straps.
 

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