Trade Center Collapse

Federal panel to release final recommendations for evacuating skyscrapers

A federal panel investigating the World Trade Center collapse is reportedly ready to recommend new safety standards for all tall buildings.

The New York Times reports the standards include changes in construction and evacuation strategies. The nonbinding recommendations by the National Institute of Standards and Technology are the result of a three-year study of tall buildings. Officials hope to help occupants survive attacks or natural disasters. The proposals are to be officially released tomorrow in New York.

The panel recommends that evacuation plans be changed to provide faster escape routes from high floors. The 16 million-dollar investigation also recommends stronger elevator shaft walls with wiring that won't short-circuit if exposed to water. That would provide an alternate escape route. The panel says fireproofing standards for steel also should be stricter.