The Real Deal New York

DA issues indictments in Azure crane collapse

March 08, 2010 11:45AM

Two corporations, their top executive, and a mechanic have been indicted in the May 30, 2008 91st Street crane collapse incident, which resulted in two deaths and one serious injury. The Manhattan District Attorney has charged New York Crane, J.F. Lomma and owner James Lomma, along with Tibor Varganyi, a former mechanic for New York Crane, with criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, among other related charges.

The defendants were described as “reckless” by District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who said that their alleged negligence at the 333 East 91st Street construction site, the Azure condominium, where Prudential Douglas Elliman agent Ilan Bracha recently took over sales, led directly to the tragic deaths of two construction workers.

“We cannot allow individuals and firms to conduct themselves in gross violation of applicable regulations and industry standards,” Vance said. “Today’s indictment is an important step not only in holding these defendants accountable for their conduct, but should send a message to the construction industry that profit cannot be put ahead of safety.”

Sales launched at the 333 East 91st Street tower more than two years ago, and Bracha told The Real Deal recently that just nine units are currently in contract. At the time of the collapse, 17 contracts had been signed. Sales resumed two weeks later, though whether there was a connection between the decrease in signed contracts and the construction delays that resulted from the accident, is unclear. TRD

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