One week after explosions and a fire damaged buildings at the William J. Hughes Technical Center, the Federal Aviation Administration said officials are still investigating what may have caused the incident.
“No foul play is suspected,” FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker wrote in an email.
The June 22 fire and the ensuing smoke and water damage affected the second and third floors of Building 300, requiring the removal of 230 work stations and other equipment, Baker said. The damage was so extensive that cleanup activities continued a week after the blaze.
“We have held several meetings with the affected employees and their supervisors,” she said. “All have been assigned to temporary work stations, and we now are working to determine longer-term solutions.”
Baker did not indicate when the cleanup work was expected to be completed.
The fire, which witnesses said was preceded by three explosions, possibly from propane tanks, broke out during the early afternoon, about the same time severe thunderstorms began moving into the area.
Also about that same time, the FAA started implementing ground stops and delay programs on the East Coast and in San Francisco as a result of the weather, according to an FAA statement. The fire at the Tech Center in Egg Harbor Township exacerbated the situation and contributed to system delays, although it was not directly responsible for any air traffic control ones, officials said.
“The fire did not compromise any systems used to directly control air traffic,” the FAA said in the statement. “Some systems used to manage the flow of traffic across the country were temporarily unavailable and transferred to backup systems, but the FAA has successfully restored those functions at the Tech Center.”
Although area emergency responders fought the blaze, the investigation of what caused the fire falls under the authority of the FAA, officials said.
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