- "A respected firefighting trade magazine with ties
to the city Fire Department is calling for a "full-throttle, fully
resourced" investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center.
A signed editorial in the January issue of Fire Engineering magazine says
the current investigation is "a half-baked farce." The piece
by Bill Manning, editor of the 125-year-old monthly that frequently
technical studies of major fires, also says the steel from the site should
be preserved so investigators can examine what caused the collapse.
they throw away the locked doors from the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? Did
they throw away the gas can used at the Happy Land social club fire? ...
That's what they're doing at the World Trade Center," the editorial
says. "The destruction and removal of evidence must stop
Fire Engineering counted FDNY Deputy Chief Raymond Downey, the department's
chief structural expert, among its senior advisers. Downey was killed
in the Sept. 11 attack. John Jay College's fire engineering expert, Prof.
Glenn Corbett, serves as the magazine's technical editor.
- A group of engineers from the American Society of Civil
Engineers, with backing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has
been studying some aspects of the collapse. But Manning and others say
that probe has not looked at all aspects of the disaster and has had
access to documents and other evidence. A growing number of fire
engineers have theorized that "the structural damage from the planes
and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to
bring down the towers," the editorial stated. A FEMA spokesman, John
Czwartacki, said agency officials had not yet seen the editorial and
to comment. Norida Torriente, a spokeswoman for the American Society of
Civil Engineers, described her group's study as a "beginning"
and "not a definitive work." Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has
joined a group of relatives of firefighters who died in the attack in
calling for a blue-ribbon panel to study the collapse. "We have to
learn from incidents through investigation to determine what types of codes
should be in place and what are the best practices for high-rise
Manning told the Daily News. "The World Trade Center is not the only
lightweight, core construction high-rise in the U.S. It's a typical method
- NY TIMES
- City Had Been Warned of Fuel Tank at 7 World Trade
- "Fire Department officials warned the city and the
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1998 and 1999 that a giant
diesel fuel tank for the mayor's $13 million command bunker in 7 World
Trade Center, a 47-story high-rise that burned and collapsed on Sept.
11, posed a hazard and was not consistent with city fire codes. The
tank was positioned about 15 feet above the ground floor and near several
lobby elevators and was meant to fuel generators that would supply
to the 23rd-floor bunker in the event of a power failure. Although the
city made some design changes to address the concerns - moving a fuel
pipe that would have run from the tank up an elevator shaft, for example
- it left the tank in place. But the Fire Department repeatedly warned
that a tank in that position could spread fumes throughout the building
if it leaked, or, if it caught fire, could produce what one Fire
memorandum called "disaster."
- NY TIMES
- December 25, 2001 THE TOWERS
- Experts Urging Broader Inquiry in Towers' Fall "In
calling for a new investigation, some structural engineers have said that
one serious mistake has already been made in the chaotic aftermath of
the collapses: the decision to rapidly recycle the steel columns, beams
and trusses that held up the buildings. That may have cost investigators
some of their most direct physical evidence with which to try to piece
together an answer. Officials in the mayor's office declined to reply
to written and oral requests for comment over a three- day period about
who decided to recycle the steel and the concern that the decision might
be handicapping the investigation...Interviews with a handful of members
of the team, which includes some of the nation's most respected engineers,
also uncovered complaints that they had at various times been shackled
with bureaucratic restrictions that prevented them from interviewing
examining the disaster site and requesting crucial information like
distress calls to the police and fire departments..."This is almost
the dream team of engineers in the country working on this, and our hands
are tied," said one team member who asked not to be identified.
have been threatened with dismissal for speaking to the press. "FEMA
is controlling everything," the team member said...Dr. Frederick
W. Mowrer, an associate professor in the fire protection engineering
at the University of Maryland, said he believed the decision could
compromise any investigation of the collapses. "I find the speed
with which potentially important evidence has been removed and recycled
to be appalling," Dr. Mowrer said.
- From Robert Lederman
- Also see http://baltech.org/lederman/
for more background on this