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How did it come to this?

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By Ralph Damiani

We have to admit, we were a bit confused – and surprised – by the filings notices of tort claims by the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Laboratory against Los Alamos County.

Why has this not been resolved already? What is the motive here?

The notices pertain to a Feb. 21 incident that reportedly occurred while the Los Alamos Fire Department was conducting training at a LANL parking structure.

The fire drill reportedly involved connecting a pumper truck to a stand pipe within the parking structure and then pressurizing the fire protection system with water.

Not long after starting this operation – according to the claim – a portion of the fire protection piping failed, causing damage to the parking structure.

Los Alamos National Security said it conducted an investigation and determined the failure of the fire protection piping was caused by the negligent “over pressurization” of the system by firefighters involved.

This is where we get lost. If there is a community that has a first-class fire department, it is Los Alamos. We have the best.


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