Joined: Mar 17, 2005
Location: Staten Island
|Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:09 pm Post subject: 9/11 Safety & FF groups call for US Attny re Deutsche
From Jul 11, 2011 to Jul 13, 2011 (included)
|Press Release: 7/11/11
Contact: Deputy Chief Jim Riches FDNY (ret) 917-692-1199
Sally Regenhard 646-266-1987
THE SKYSCRAPER SAFETY CAMPAIGN
9/11 PARENTS & FAMILIES OF FIREFIGHTERS & WTC VICTIMS
STATEMENT ON DEUTSCHE BANK FIRE VERDICTS
The Skyscraper Safety Campaign and 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims, call for reopening the investigation of the Deutsche Bank Fire, intervention of the US Attorney for the Southern District of NY, and a full and comprehensive review of the case.
Two brave New York City firefighters, Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino, died in the Deutsche Bank Building, which was a dangerous firetrap. Serious violations and severed standpipes were ignored and not properly inspected and reported, which would have prevented this needless tragedy. There has been absolutely no accountability and no responsibility for the deaths of these brave men and no justice for their heartbroken families. On August 23,2007, Mayor Bloomberg said that he owed those families answers to difficult questions. Most unfortunately, they are still waiting!!
Skyscraper Safety Campaign & Parents & Families of Firefighters call for a full and total review of all evidence and a reopening of the case. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) which owned the building, failed to heed warnings of dangerous fire hazards. The LMDC failed to report 7 previous fires in the Deutsche Bank Building to the New York City Fire Department as required by the Emergency Action Plan. The LMDC totally ignored warnings from its safety consultant, URS company, which warned that the Deutsche Bank Building was an accident waiting to happen. Two additional fires went unreported to FDNY after this warning.
Expediency was more important than safety as companies were given more money for working faster, deliberately sacrificing safety for speed. Staircases were blocked, smoking tolerated, standpipes were severed, and numerous violations which should have been noticed were never reported and corrected. Mandated and critically important Inspections were not properly carried out by the Fire Department, Buildings Department, the contractor - Bovis or their construction site safety inspectors.
Senior leadership of the Fire Department also failed to immediately stop work at the building after a large scaffolding pipe crashed through the roof of the "10 House" directly across the street, only weeks before the deadly fire. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the United States Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all failed in their responsibilities at the site.
Accountability and responsibility are the hallmark of a democratic society. There must be accountability and responsibility for these serious violations of the Deutsche Bank Fire, in order to prevent more needless loss of life in the future. Skyscraper Safety Campaign and 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters call for the addition of building code amendments to ensure thorough inspections of construction sites and buildings and to hold violators legally responsible. This is the only thing which will ensure the safety of all workers - both civilians and first responders.
We call for an immediate, full and total review of the Deutsche Bank Fire and a prompt reopening of the investigation by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The large amount of federal dollars allotted to the Deutsche Bank project makes the death of two firefighters a federal issue. Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino did their jobs on August 18, 2007 and now is the time for our City officials, the US Attorney's office, and Mayor Bloomberg to do theirs.
Deputy Chief Jim Riches,Chair, 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims
Father of FF Jimmy Riches Engine 4 FDNY 9/11/01
Sally Regenhard, Chair, Monica Gabrielle, Co-Chair, The Skyscraper Safety Campaign