A contractor has been indicted on homicide charges in a crane collapse in midtown Manhattan that killed seven people last year, the district attorney said Monday.
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office said William Rapetti was in custody Monday morning. He was indicted on homicide and other charges in connection with the March accident.
In September, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Rapetti Rigging Services Inc. of Massapequa Park, on Long Island, for improperly using slings recommended by the manufacturer to stabilize the crane.
The incident was one in a wave of fatal construction mishaps in the city. On May 30, another tower crane broke apart and fell on an apartment building, killing two workers. Other crane operations were suspended temporarily.
In an e-mail to NBCNewYork.com, defense attorney Arthur Aidala said Rapetti "has agreed to offer his full assistance and expertise in helping to determine the actual cause or causes of the crane collapse that day."
"William Rapetti and Rapetti Rigging have a long and distinguished record of excellence, safety and public service spanning decades," said Aidala.
He added: "William Rapetti is determined to help clear his name and demonstrate that he and his company operated and supervised the site in a manner beyond reproach."
The 19-story tower crane broke away from a luxury apartment building under construction and fell like a tree across other buildings as far as a block away.
A brownstone town house was demolished, and some area residents later said they had been fearful that the crane was unstable.
A city construction site inspector was later charged with falsely claiming he had inspected the crane 11 days before the mishap.
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