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Washington, D.C. - President Bush has signed into law legislation sponsored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens & Brooklyn) and Science Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert (R - NY), and New York Senators Clinton and Schumer, to overhaul building collapse investigations. The National Construction Safety Team Act will ensure that the mishandled evidence and in-fighting that hobbled FEMA’s World Trade Center investigation never happens again. Rep. Weiner issued the following statement:
"Thousands of tons of steel were carted away from ground zero and recycled before any expert could examine what could have been tell-tale clues. Support trusses, fireproofing fragments and even burnt out electrical switches that might have given scientists and engineers insight were lost forever - even before an investigation was underway.
"These failures mean that we are short--even to this day--on conclusions about design decisions that may have contributed to the deaths of so many firefighters and workers on the top floors.
"First, just as the NTSB immediately sequesters evidence involved in a plane crash, our bill creates immediate on-site authority for investigators of collapses to have access to and preservation of important materials. And–if necessary–the new panel may subpoena materials.
"Never again will we see the destruction of materials and the legal jousting that marked the scene of the 9/11 attack, where even the blueprints of the buildings took weeks to secure.
Originally posted by ipsedixit
One of the hallmarks of government pronouncements since 9/11 has been the massaging and kneading of "the story" for cosmetic purposes.
"Should future buildings avoid the concentration of stairwells that were used in the Twin Towers? Was enough attention given to the communications infrastructure that failed in the 1993 bombing and tragically left hundreds of emergency workers climbing stairs while officials on the ground knew that the buildings were about to come down?
I remember it from months ago. As I recall a fireman on the scene had been told by someone in Giuliani's office that they should evacuate because they had been told that the building (I can't remember which tower it was.) was going to come down.