Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t people allowed to view Ground Zero almost immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9/11?
I’m eager to learn what the Salem News reports later today, but at the moment, I’m concerned about what I’m seeing. More than four days after the Danvers explosion, the neighborhood is still sealed off with police barricades. No one can get in or out without identification showing that they belong in the neighborhood.
Even more inexplicable is that Fire Chief James Tutko is refusing to allow federal inspectors to do their jobs. I’m trying to approach this with an open mind, but right now it’s hard to disagree with Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker, who writes:
If James Tutko, the Danvers fire chief, really wants to do something to aid the investigation into the stunning explosion last week, there is one step he could easily take: Get out of the way.
It is absurd that the federal Chemical Safety Board can’t get onto the site to investigate the cause of the blaze, because the fire official has decided they aren’t needed.
The Globe reports on this strange development here and here. The Herald has another angle on the dispute here. The Chemical Safety Board Web site, in announcing its Danvers investigation, has this to say by way of background:
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in safety management systems, regulations, and industry standards.
That sounds like exactly what we need. Those of us who live in Danvers deserve an explanation as to why the CSB isn’t being allowed in.