Deadly grain elevator still not condemned
Sat, 17 Sep 2011 13:46:09 GMT —
Kelsey Tortoreo fell to her death in an Amarillo grain elevator last May.
Since then, Tom Tortoreo, her father, has been on a mission to get that building condemned.
He has worked with city officials and even State Senator Kel Seliger to do that.
An inspector has been out to the elevator to do a follow-up to make sure the owner has closed off its access points.
"We've went out and performed a follow up inspection to our original letter and the structure is secure and in compliance with the ordinance," said Scott McDonald, Amarillo Building Official.
While Tortoreo says that's an adequate first step, he still isn't comfortable with how accessible the building is.
"I still have grave concerns about the building and its iconic stature in the community. I believe that theirs a generational breakdown with regards to the understanding of what this building means to the young adults and teenagers in this community, it's a right of passage to go in here."
Tortoreo says although the outside has been secured, he is still concerned with what's "inside".
"Are the steps still there? Are the spiral staircases still there? The notorious clown room, is there any barrier to entry there? The hole that my daughter fell through, has that been covered up? This building you can still go into. you and I can walk over there and get into this building I promise you."
"As far as inside the structure, we've not gone inside the structure, it's secure from the outside." said McDonald.
Tortoreo says he strongly commends the city for doing what it's done, but he says this should've have been taken care of years ago.
"I truly believe maybe if this first step was taken a year ago that my daughter would still be alive today, but this concerns me."
Now, is there any further steps that need to be take? "Not from the cities stand point," said McDonald.
Tortoreo won't accept this as a last step, he says he and his wife are trying to get involved with the schools to make sure what happened to his daughter doesn't happen to anyone else.
"I'm going to get the word out there this building will kill you, ok, this building will make you die, you won't go on, stay out of it. Now you'll get arrested."
Tortoreo says he is going to continue his push to have the building condemned or even torn down, and he hopes the city will seize this opportunity to join him.
Tortoreo told us he understands business, but the building has been empty for more than twenty years, and there's been no attempt to make it a viable commercial option.
He wants it torn down.