Saying that the current investigation into how and why the twin towers fell on Sept. 11 is inadequate, some of the nation's leading structural engineers and fire-safety experts are calling for a new, independent and better-financed inquiry that could produce the kinds of conclusions vital for skyscrapers and future buildings nationwide.
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.
Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, an associate professor in the fire protection engineering department at the University of Maryland, said he believed the decision could ultimately 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.
National organizations charged with addressing building and fire safety issues have sent letters urging the federal government to invest as much as $15 million a year to study the vulnerability of buildings to terrorist attacks and possible changes to fire and safety standards.
''There is an urgent and critical need to determine the lessons to be learned from these events,'' reads a letter from the American Society of Civil Engineers, dated Nov. 15.
This is a very good article and well worth the read, imho. Lots of questions and concerns raised.