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Statement by NIST Director Arden Bement on NIST's World Trade Center Evacuation and Safety Studies

April 9, 2003

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Contact: Michael Newman
(301) 975-3025

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today outlined its plans to conduct a series of interviews that will provide key data on occupant behavior, egress and emergency communications during the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on Sept. 11, 2001. The plans for the face-to-face, telephone and focus group interviews – an important part of NIST’s ongoing WTC building and fire safety investigation – were presented at a public forum in New York City.

NIST Director Arden Bement Jr. urged former WTC occupants, first responders to the disaster, and family members of WTC victims to take part in the upcoming interview process. “We can learn from the World Trade Center disaster, and we can improve public safety, but we need the active participation of WTC employers and survivors in our interviews, surveys and focus groups in order to be successful,” Bement said.