Rigger in crane collapse loses license

Though he was cleared of manslaughter charges last year, William Rapetti received a punishment for his part in the crane collapse in Midtown in 2008 that killed seven people. A judge today found that the rigger’s sloppy crane work was to blame for the collapse, and recommended his license be revoked, the New York Post reported. Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri has adhered to that recommendation, making Rapetti unable to operate or oversee any cranes in the city.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“We have determined that Mr. Rapetti took shortcuts while erecting the tower crane by using damaged equipment and failing to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions,” LiMandri said. “Those shortcuts sacrificed the safety of the job site and led to horrific consequences.”

The crane, erected nearly 200 feet high at 303 East 51st Street, collapsed due to the failure of four heavy-duty nylon straps that served as support, killing six construction workers, a tourist and destroying a nearby townhouse. According to building officials, Rapetti used half as many straps as the manufacturer called for. Rapetti’s license has been suspended since 2009, with his own consent, and he’s been working construction jobs that don’t require licenses over the last two years. Meanwhile, as previously reported, the neighborhood surrounding the crane collapse has struggled to rebound. [Post]