Big Dig epoxy provider charged with manslaughter
The company that provided the epoxy used to hold up concrete ceiling panels in Boston’s Big Dig has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. In response to the indictment, Brewster, N.Y.-based Powers Fasteners President Jeffrey Powers released a statement saying, “The only reason that our company has been indicted is that, unlike others implicated in this tragedy, we don’t have enough money to buy our way out.”
On July 10, 2006, a large concrete panel fell from the roof of the I-90 Connector Tunnel, killing 38-year-old Milena Del Valle and injuring her husband Angel Del Valle, who was driving the car. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on the incident, released in July, the cause of the accident was poor “creep resistance” in the epoxy used to attach the panel to the ceiling, meaning the panel pulled away from its anchors over time.
According to the indictment, announced by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Wednesday, Powers Fasteners knew that its product, Power-Fast Fast Set epoxy, was not suitable for holding sustained loads due to poor creep resistance, but the company failed to tell Big Dig engineers. More information on the indictment is available at www.ago.state.ma.us.
In his statement, Powers says that the company believed it provided another product, Power-Fast Standard Set, to the project, and that the company did inform Big Dig engineers that Fast Set had failed a test for creep resistance. The entire statement is available at www.powers.com.
Coakley says the investigation into the incident is still ongoing and involves several different parties. “[The Powers Fasteners] indictment represents one of several phases in reaching a just result for both the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] and the family of Milena Del Valle,” Coakley says.