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Ground Zero Toxic Tower Fire Trial ‘Nearing End’

Smoke rises from the Deutsche Bank Building bordering Ground Zero (credit: AP Photo/Verena Dobnik)

Smoke rises from the Deutsche Bank Building bordering Ground Zero (credit: AP Photo/Verena Dobnik)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors have rested their manslaughter case against three construction-company supervisors charged in a blaze that killed two firefighters at a toxic, condemned ground zero bank tower.

Defense witnesses are expected to start testifying Thursday and finish early next week.

After nearly eight weeks of testimony, a judge said Wednesday the case is “nearing the end.”

Summations are expected around June 14 in the trial of Mitchel Alvo, Salvatore DePaola and Jeffrey Melofchik.

Prosecutors say the men knew a crucial firefighting water pipe was broken at the former Deutsche Bank building but did nothing to fix the breach for months before the August 2007 blaze.

The defense says the men didn’t realize the pipe’s importance. It says they’re scapegoats for a fire fueled by numerous hazards and regulatory failures.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)