Thursday, January 24, 2008


Congressman Jim Oberstar criticized the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board yesterday for suggesting that a design flaw was the critical factor in last summer's bridge collapse. Chairman Mark Rosenker said gusset plates connecting steel beams on the bridge were roughly half the thickness they should have been. Oberstar said that statement was inappropriate. Congressman Oberstar said the NTSB does make announcements like that when it finds significant factors before they reach a finding of probable cause. Oberstar said Rosenker reported no finding of probable cause during hearings but at a news conference afterward, the Chairman said "this is why the bridge collapsed and corrosion had nothing to do with it." Oberstar said no NTSB Chairman over the last 25 years has made such a public statement while the investigation is ongoing.

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