Dangerous caution
Posted by aogMonday, 20 August 2007 at 10:33 TrackBack Ping URL

Via WizBang is a story about two firefighters dieing in a blaze. The fire was in a building abandoned since 11 Sep 2001 due to it being a “toxic nightmare” from the fallout of the attack. What I was left pondering was the dysfunctional nature of New York City that such a building is still around to catch on fire 6 years after the attack. I suspect that the primary impediment were the dangers of doing something and arguments about who would be held to blame in the inevitable lawsuits should injury occur. Now two firefighters are dead and the building is still waiting for disposal.

In the end, though, the problem isn’t so much the law per se, but the societal attitudes that underpin it. I haven’t got a clue as to how to address that.

UPDATE: Our friend Bruno Behrend weighs in on this subject.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
erp Monday, 20 August 2007 at 11:28

Whatever the situation with the insurance, the red tape, etc. the owners of the building must be responsible for either making it habitable or taking it down safely. Firefighters and others in the business of rescuing us from calamities, shouldn’t need to put their lives at even more risk than necessary.

Bret Monday, 20 August 2007 at 11:42

It looks like they were in the process of dismantling the building.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 20 August 2007 at 12:24

But only 1/3 done after almost six years. I can’t imagine that being a problem with the mechanics of dismantling.

Bret Monday, 20 August 2007 at 12:56

Perhaps it’s simply lack of funds. Whoever owns the building went from having a paying asset to having a huge liability. Insurance often has an ‘act of war’ exclusion so there may have been no money to pay for it to be taken down.

Michael Herdegen Monday, 20 August 2007 at 13:57

But the insurers of the WTC paid out…

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