Sunday, March 7, 2010
Crane company owner to be charged in deaths
MYFOXNY.COM - The crane company owner of the crane that killed two workers in 2008 is being charged with manslaughter.
James Lomma, of New York Crane & Equipment Corp., is expected to face charges in the next week. The May 2008 accident saw the giant crane collapse and smash into a Manhattan apartment building during the construction of a 32-story condominium.
The collapse killed the crane operator, Donald C. Leo,30, and 27-year-old Ramadan Kurtaj.
City and federal investigators have focused on a failed weld on the crane's turntable, which helps the rig swivel and change direction.
According to the AP, The turntable had been removed in May 2007 from another crane because it was cracked; New York Crane & Equipment had a welding company repair it, and then installed it in the crane that collapsed, the company's insurer has said.
New York Crane hired a Chinese company to do the weld despite a warning from the company that its welding wasn't good, according to lawsuits filed by the slain workers' families. The Chinese firm had agreed to do the work for a sixth of the price and twice as fast as an Ohio bidder, according to the ongoing lawsuits.