News, commentary and analysis by leaders of the Communist Party USA in New York State. We discuss State politics and issues in New York City, covering developments in labor, civil rights education, housing and more.

Monday, August 18, 2008

One Year Since Deutsche Bank Fire

It's hard to believe it has already been one year since the tragic Deutsche Bank fire. Not only are New Yorkers memorializing Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino, the two firefighters killed in the blaze, but several new developments are underway on the case.

The fire was apparently caused accidentally by construction crews while demolishing the building permanently damaged in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The contractor (which had a history of mob affiliation and corruption) cut the standpipes that bring water to each floor for fire hoses. Firefighters were stuck in the smoldering hulk with no water and no escape. The suffocated when their oxygen tanks ran out.

As we pointed out previously, this was not simply an accident, but the culmination of corruption, incompetence and mismanagement of the Ground Zero site by City officials. Now the Manhattan District Attorney's Office is considering bringing charges against the City for negligent homicide.

Also, the New York Post reports that "a grand jury has been eyeing evidence of racketeering and money laundering against the contractors in charge of the structure."

Also, the Uniformed Firefighters Association is proposing new rules that would protect the lives of firefighters and other first responders. Simply, the Fire Department of New York would have to notify firefighters when there is no water available.

This is a good beginning. The Bloomberg administration should also be investigated for awarding sweetheart contracting bids, poor building safety standards and cronyism.

For fighters and construction workers, the memory many will have of Bloomberg will be crashing cranes and the horrifying inferno of the Deutsche Bank building.

No comments: