WTC tapes, records missing
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor
Investigation of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers is being hampered by a lack of documentation. Investigators report surveillance tapes and maintenance logs are missing.
Probers say many documents destroyed in the disaster are critical to determining what brought the towers down. They believe lost records may contain valuable information that would help to answer many questions.
The buildings owners and several New York City agencies are being contacted in hopes of turning up copies of the missing documents.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology began its $23 million probe just three months ago. The investigating team plans to spend two years on the project.
Among the missing documentation are the original specifications in the construction contract from early in the 1970s when the WTC project began.
Researchers intend to analyze building wreckage, much of which was rapidly removed from the site, interview steel manufacturing experts and also to conduct interviews with survivors, relatives of victims and rescue workers.
They have established a database of nearly 2,000 photos taken Sept. 11 as the towers burned and fell. Investigators are looking for more such pictures. They especially are interested in any photos of the south face of Number Seven World Trade Center, which was not hit by an airplane, but burned several hours before collapsing.
Various theories have emerged as to what caused the 110-story towers to collapse but no conclusions have been reached.