The Associated Press
Nov 9 2002 12:40PM
NEW YORK (AP) - A tape of firefighters' communications during the World
Trade Center attack showed that equipment previously blamed for
malfunctioning and boosting the death toll may have worked properly,
according to a published report.
The 78-minute tape indicated the signal-boosting repeater used to
amplify and retransmit radio signals did, in fact, effectively pass
transmissions on Sept. 11, 2001, The New York Times reported in its
The finding contradicts an earlier emergency response study which was
endorsed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas
That study attributed part of the problem to the destruction of a
signal-boosting repeater in the attack. The repeater was mounted atop
neighboring 5 World Trade Center to amplify and retransmit radio
signals, and was destroyed when the first tower collapsed.
Although very few communications from the north tower are heard on
the tape, the Port Authority said that firefighters in the south tower
can be heard speaking over their radios until the building falls,
indicating that the system worked.
The new analysis raises the possibility that other factors, including
human error and other equipment failures, might have triggered the
communications breakdown believed to have contributed to the deaths of
Officials at the Port Authority, which was responsible for the
equipment, have maintained that complaints about the communications
system they installed have been used to deflect blame.
``The existence of the recording and its contents clearly show that
the repeater was working,'' Port Authority spokesman Allen Morrison said