Fire, Rescue Workers Continue Pentagon Labors
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2001 An army of firemen, rescue workers, police and troops continue to work together to sift through wreckage at the Pentagon's west wall.
The Defense Department's headquarters "took a big hit" Sept. 11 from a hijacked commercial airliner, said John F. Irby, director of the Pentagon's Federal Facilities Division, at a Sept. 14 news conference. Two-thirds of the Pentagon, however, can be operated in a normal manner, he said, attributing that fact to the building's reinforced concrete construction.
"The Pentagon is an amazing building," he said.
Irby added that workers are shoring up the collapsed section as they continue to search for victims and remove debris. Early this morning, workers recovered the hijacked airliner's voice recorder and flight data "black boxes."
Fires continue to flare up in "hot spots" between the Pentagon's slate roof shingles and underlying wood support structure, said Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz.
Troop support from the Military District of Washington involves some 500 to 700 service members daily, said Army Maj. Gen. Jim Jackson, district commanding general.
Jackson lauded the cooperative efforts of local, state and federal organizations in fire fighting, search and rescue, security, building engineering and clean up, crime investigation, and other efforts in the aftermath of the attack.