Archive for Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Port Authority on trial after 12 years of delays

September 27, 2005

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— The Port Authority failed to take steps to prevent the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center because it was inconvenient and expensive, an attorney said Monday during a trial to determine whether the agency is liable for damages.

The Port Authority's own security officials warned that the garage was a likely attack site, said attorney David J. Dean, who represents survivors and families of the casualties.

Terrorists detonated 1,200 pounds of explosives left in a rented van in a public parking garage under the 16-acre trade center's 110-story twin towers on Feb. 26, 1993. The blast killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

Port Authority attorney Marc Kasowitz said executives were never warned that an attack was coming by way of the garage. They were only told that such an attack was "possible," he said.

An internal Port Authority document shows that executives decided closing it "would be inconvenient to tenants and cause loss of substantial revenue," Dean said.

Kasowitz denied that the Port Authority would sacrifice security for a few dollars.

The trial to determine whether the Port Authority was negligent has been delayed for 12 years.

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