Thursday, 4:30 PM
Statement from Powers Fasteners Inc. reacting to Big Dig indictment
"Powers Fasteners, Inc. reacted sharply today to news of its indictment for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the July 2006 death of Milena Del Valle in the I-90 tunnel ceiling collapse.
"'We are stunned, beyond belief,'" stated Jeffrey Powers, President of Powers Fasteners. 'The only reason that our company has been indicted is that unlike others implicated in this tragedy, we dont have enough money to buy our way out.'
"Powers Fasteners, a 75-year-old family-owned business located in Brewster, N.Y. has 275 employees in the United States. The company supplied $1,287.60 worth of epoxy to a distributor for use in the tunnel ceiling. The indictment is based upon the contention that its Fast Set product was used by the contractor and that Powers engineers, when presented with the slippage of bolts in October 1999, did not tell Project officials that the Fast Set had failed a so-called 'creep test.'
"'The Attorney General well knows that Powers Fasteners filled a special order for a different epoxy its Standard Set product for the tunnel ceiling,' said Powers. 'At no time did anyone ever tell Powers, and Powers never had reason to believe that its Fast Set product was used in the tunnel ceiling.
"The Attorney General also knows that Powers at all times informed officials about the creep characteristics of fast setting epoxies, including its own product. Contemporaneous documents show that even prior to the installation of the ceiling in July of 1999 - Powers informed the top Mass Highway official in charge of overseeing all product approval on the Big Dig that the Fast Set epoxy had failed to pass a creep test by a 'significant margin', that it was approved by the ICBO (International Conference of Building Officials) only for short term loading, and that creep was a problem with all fast setting amine epoxies.'
"When a Powers engineer was called to the project site in October 1999 to assess why the bolts were slipping, he came equipped to do the very test that the NTSB now states should have been done. Project officials refused to allow Powers to do this test, which would have led to correction of the entire problem. The test which was performed and the observations made on the scene indicated to all present that the bolts had been installed improperly. In the final analysis, the NTSB found that 19 of the 20 bolts in the failure zone had 'voids'-- inadequate amounts of epoxy to properly coat them."