Last year, the former Deutsche Bank building was in the process of being dismantled when a fire broke out on August 18. It escalated into a seven-alarm blaze, and two firefighters died after when their oxygen tanks were depleted. It turned out a construction worker's smoking caused the fire, but there were a host of other problems, from the dismantled standpipe (which brings water up in case of fires), blocked exits, and a lack of inspections to make sure the dismantling was being handled carefully.
The Manhattan DA's office, which opened up a criminal investigation of the fire, is considering charging the city with the fire--since the city's Buildings Department and Fire Department should have been inspecting the site regularly-- but it's also a highly unusual step. Another target is the John Galt Corp., which was subcontracted to handle the dismantling but had little experience with projects of this scale and was later found to be laundering "millions through various shell companies."
The families of the two firefighters, Joseph Graffanino and Robert Beddia, have filed suit against the city. The Daily News reports Beddia's sister as saying, "I'm so angry that this was allowed to happen, [and] we want justice. I want them more than embarrassed — I want them hurt."