The Manhattan District Attorney and the Department of Investigation have indicted the foreman of an excavation subcontractor and the senior superintendent of a construction contractor who both allegedly ignored warnings about unsafe working conditions on an active construction site in the Meatpacking District, where 22-year-old construction worker Carlos Moncayo was crushed and killed in an unsecured trench this April.

Wilmer Cueva, 50, of Sky Materials Corp. and Alfonso Prestia, 54, of Harco Construction LLC have been charged with Manslaughter, Criminally Negligent Homicide, and Reckless Endangerment for their oversight of 9-19 Ninth Avenue near West 13th Street, the former location of Keith McNally's restaurant Pastis. Earlier this week, the Real Deal reported what has been rumored since last summer—the lot is being developed into a Restoration Hardware, with a restaurant on the ground floor and an affiliated hotel around the corner.

"Carlos Moncayo's death at a construction site was tragic, but it was also foreseeable and avoidable," said Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance in a statement. "As detailed in court documents, repeated warnings about safety hazards at 9-19 Ninth Avenue were issued in the months, weeks, and even minutes before a trench collapsed, killing Mr. Moncayo."

According to the city's Building Code and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, any excavation deeper than five feet has to be fortified with wooden support beams or dug at a shallow, sloping angle, to "protect workers from cave-ins." In February, hired inspectors found that neither of these measures had been taken in the trenches at 9-19 Ninth Avenue. Cueva and Prestia allegedly ignored multiple warnings, both in person and via e-mail, and didn't take any measures to fortify the trenches.

On the morning of April 6th, Moncayo, a Spanish speaker, was working inside of an unfortified 13-foot trench on the Pastis site, with three other workers. Shortly after 10:30 that morning, an inspector encountered the trench, and, according to court documents, told Cueva to get his workers out immediately. Cueva allegedly refused, so the inspector alerted Prestia.

It wasn't until 11:30 a.m. that Prestia told the workers, in English, to exit the trench. They did not. At 11:50, Cueva made the same order, this time in Spanish. According to the DA's office, the trench collapsed "moments later," killing Moncayo.

The Department of Buildings issued Stop Work Orders against both Sky and Harco in the aftermath of Moncayo's death. Construction reportedly resumed on the site recently.

Cueva and Prestia were scheduled to appear in court this afternoon. Harco's lawyer told CBS that Moncayo’s death was a “tragic accident." He added, “There will not be a settlement or a plea in this case. We wish to go to trial as quickly as possible, and we are sure we will be vindicated.”

In May, construction workers and advocates rallied outside of City Hall, demanding safer working conditions on city construction sites, as well as harsher consequences for construction companies that commit safety violations. According to the NYTimes, there have been 10 construction-related deaths in the city so far this year, compared to 12 in 2014, and only 2 in 2013.

In direct response to this particular case, construction inspectors are now required to report unsafe worksite conditions to the DOB, not just the contractor in question. Vance and DOI Commissioner Mark Peters have also announced a task for to investigate construction misconduct in the city. "Why didn't we do it this way five years ago?" Peters wonders. "Honestly, we should have."