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Crane rigger walks in collapse

<p>A crane rigger charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, among other offenses, in the March 2008 East Side collapse that left seven dead, was found not guilty Thursday by a Manhattan judge.</p>

A crane rigger charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, among other offenses, in the March 2008 East Side collapse that left seven dead, was found not guilty Thursday by a Manhattan judge.


The judge delivered the verdict to William Rapetti, 49, after the jury-less trial rehashed the horrific details at 303 E. 51st St.


Prosecutors said Rapetti was recklessly negligent in securing the 200-foot crane. He only used four of the $50 straps — one damaged — despite the crane manufacturer calling for eight, they said.


Rapetti’s lawyer blamed city agencies and shoddy welding.


The incident, followed by another deadly collapse on the Upper East Side two months later, touched off increased crane safety rules.