Oberstar tells NTSB they should hold public hearing

Rep. Jim Oberstar
Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

Oberstar wrote NTSB board chair Mark Rosenker that by not holding a public hearing into the bridge collapse, the agency "appears to dismiss citizen concerns as not worthy of serious consideration."

The board voted 3 to 2 against a hearing, in part, because of NTSB staff's concern that the political debate surrounding the disaster.

The Congressman wrote Rosenker that he learned of this rationale from reporters, even though the two spoke on Tuesday. Oberstar told Rosenker he should have been fully candid with him.

According to Oberstar, a public hearing into the bridge collapse would help educate the country about the safety of bridges and could demonstrate to the NTSB board that other theories about its cause should be considered.

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