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Federal Probe Considers Construction Near Tunnel

Federal investigators probing this month's fatal Big Dig ceiling panel collapse have ruled out concrete failure but are considering whether construction near the accident site might have loosened ceiling bolts that failed, according to members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation briefed yesterday.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) says the construction of an office building near the site of the July 10th accident, the Interstate 90 Connector tunnel, is one possibility cited by investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation in a two-hour briefing on Capitol Hill.

Other avenues of investigation include the type of drill used in the construction, and whether cold temperatures during construction might have contributed to bolt failure.

The ceiling panels that collapsed and killed 38-year-old Milena Del Valle of Jamaica Plain as she traveled to Logan Airport with her husband were secured with a heavy duty epoxy.

The Interstate 90 Connector tunnel is closed while crews work to shore up other ceiling bolts. Safety concerns have also prompted the closure of the eastbound lanes of the Ted Williams tunnel leading to Logan.

This program aired on July 27, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.

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