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9/11 Commission

Evidence Destruction at Ground Zero

"Ground zero" is a technical term dating back to the 1940s describing the point on the earth's surface at, above, or below the center of a nuclear detonation. "Ground Zero" became a proper noun on September 11, 2001, to describe the devastated remains of the World Trade Center complex. The designation was fitting since Lower Manhattan did indeed look as if it had been hit by a nuclear blast.

Ground Zero was the site of one of the largest evidence destruction operations in history. It was the scene of the mass murder of nearly 3000 people. Believing the official myth that Osama bin Laden's cells of hijackers piloted the 767s into the Twin Towers does little to diminish the importance of the remains of the towers and Building 7 as evidence, since the collapse of these three skyscrapers contradicts the entire history of engineered steel structures. Yet the remains of these buildings were systematically removed and destroyed, and their examination was rendered impossible.

e x c e r p t
title: Ground Zero Players:Corporations
authors: Jim Hoffman

Corporations

New York City's Department of Design and Construction (DDC) issued contracts to four contractors, called Construction Managers (CM), who were responsible for debris removal. According to an USACE website, each CM was assigned a zone or section of the debris removal, and was was controlled and monitored by a three-person DDC team. The four CMs were:

  • Tully Construction, Sacramento District
  • Bovis Lend Lease International, Mobile District
  • AMEC Construction Management, Portland District
  • Turner Construction, Baltimore District

Two New Jersey companies were among the bidders that won the contract for removing more than 60,000 tons of Trade Center scrap. Metal Management Northeast bought 40,000 tons, and Hugo Neu Schnitzer bought 25,000 tons. Neu Schnitzer East is one of the largest scrap recyclers in the nation. President Alan Ratner of Metal Management said the company had bought 70,000 tons of scrap steel by January of 2002.

Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) appeared to be key player in the expedient removal and recycling of the steel. CDI was retained by Tully Construction Co. Inc, one of the site's four cleanup management contractors. On September 22, 2001, CDI submitted a 25-page "preliminary" document to New York City's Department of Design and Construction, which approved the plan. The commissioner of New York City's Department of Design and Construction and the man in charge of Ground Zero cleanup efforts was Kenneth Holden.

Weeks Marine Inc. created two steel offloading areas at Pier 25 and Pier 6 in the last week of September to accelerate the removal of steel.

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. was awarded a contract for $790,500 to deepen the Pier 6 site to facilitate barge removal of debris.


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Ground Zero smouldered for three months after the attack.