Prosecutor says crane rigger involved in NYC collapse ignored safety standards

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City prosecutor says a worker made "inexcusable" choices that caused a 200-foot-tall crane to collapse in 2008, killing seven people.

But the defendant's lawyer says the crane 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.