http://www.nydailynews.com/2002-01-04/News_and_Views/City_Beat/a-137143.asp?last6days=1 Firefighter Mag
"Burning Questions...Need Answers": FE's Bill Manning Calls for Comprehensive Investigation of WTC Collapse Fair Lawn, NJ, January 4, 2002-Bill Manning, Fire Engineering's editor in chief, is summoning members of the fire service to "A Call to Action." In his January 2002 Editor's Opinion, "$elling Out the Investigation" (below), he warns that unless there is a full-blown investigation by an independent panel established solely for that purpose, "the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals." Manning explained: "Clearly, there are burning questions that need answers .... The lessons about the buildings' design and behavior in this extraordinary event must be learned and applied in the real world." In an interview with the New York Daily News today, Manning reiterated his call for a "full-throttle, fully resourced" investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center. He is asking members of the fire service to read "WTC 'Investigation'? A Call to Action" in the January 2002 issue of Fire Engineering and at Maybe we should live and work in planes. That way, if disaster strikes, we will at least be sure that a thorough investigation will help find ways to increase safety for our survivors. As things now stand and if they continue in such fashion, the investigation into the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals. However, respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers. Rather, theory has it, the subsequent contents fires attacking the questionably fireproofed lightweight trusses and load-bearing columns directly caused the collapses in an alarmingly short time. Of course, in light of there being no real evidence thus far produced, this could remain just unexplored theory. The frequency of published and unpublished reports raising questions about the steel fireproofing and other fire protection elements in the buildings, as well as their design and construction, is on the rise. The builders and owners of the World Trade Center property, the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, a governmental agency that operates in an accountability vacuum beyond the reach of local fire and building codes, has denied charges that the buildings' fire protection or construction components were substandard but has refused to cooperate with requests for documentation supporting its contentions. Some citizens are taking to the streets to protest the investigation sellout. Sally Regenhard, for one, wants to know why and how the building fell as it did upon her unfortunate son Christian, an FDNY probationary firefighter. And so do we. Clearly, there are burning questions that need answers. Based on the incident's magnitude alone, a full-throttle, fully resourced, forensic investigation is imperative. More important, from a moral standpoint, for the safety of present and future generations who live and work in tall buildings-and for firefighters, always first in and last out-the lessons about the buildings' design and behavior in this extraordinary event must be learned and applied in the real world. To treat the September 11 incident any differently would be the height of stupidity and ignorance. The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately. The federal government must scrap the current setup and commission a fully resourced blue ribbon panel to conduct a clean and thorough investigation of the fire and collapse, leaving no stones unturned. Firefighters, this is your call to action. Visit WTC "Investigation"?: A Call to Action, then contact your representatives in Congress and officials in Washington and help us correct this problem immediately.
Raps 9/11 Probe
By JOE CALDERONE
Daily News Chief of Investigations
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 publishes technical studies of major fires, also says the steel from the site should be preserved so investigators can examine what caused the collapse.
"Did 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 immediately."
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 limited access to documents and other evidence.
A growing number of fire protection 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 declined 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 construction," 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 of construction."