Mayor William Bell talks for the first time since airport death - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Mayor William Bell talks for the first time since airport incident

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Birmingham Mayor William Bell speaks at a news conference Tuesday. (abc3340.com) Birmingham Mayor William Bell speaks at a news conference Tuesday. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

In his first interview since the death of 10-year-old Luke Bresette, Mayor William Bell says his office is searching for answers.

"I realize, often times, there's public pressure to do it fast," Bell said. "But, I also want them to do it right."

Bell says the Airport Authority continues to investigate the accident, seeking answers as to why the 300-pound display unit of flight information monitors fell. They're looking at the manufacturing of the unit and the installation of it, trying to determine if they were installed by the guidelines of the manufacturer.

But one thing Bell has found out is that the incident was not the city's fault.

"I was surprised when I received a document that indicated that was not under purview of the city," Bell said. "It's under the purview of the Airport Authority."

According to Steven Stine, a lawyer for the city, he says the installation of those monitors, which are described as similar to a free-standing cabinet, did not require inspection under municipal code because it wasn't a structural component of the building.

In a release from Mayor Bell's office, Stine explains why the display did not require inspection as followed:

"The City inspects structures to determine if they comply with the International Building Code.  Those inspections are for the structural parts of a building (foundation, walls, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems), means of egress and fire safety.  We understand that the object that fell last week at the Birmingham Airport is a movable cabinet containing TV monitors for flight information; this cabinet rests on the floor and is designed like entertainment centers that are found in many homes and businesses.   The Building Code does not contemplate, and the City does not inspect furniture or cabinetry like this object."    

But regardless of who is at fault, Bell says his priority is the family.

"We're doing everything that the family has requested of us," Bell said. "And some things we're going above and beyond that."

The family of Luke Bresette was unavailable for comment as to what the city has done for them.

Bell says he's committed to finding answers.

"What I have committed to the family and I have been with the family for many hours since this tragedy has taken place...is to make sure we give them a thorough accounting as to how this tragedy happened," Bell said.

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