September 10, 2008

Halt to U.N. Tours Urged Over Fire Safety

New York City officials urged the United Nations to suspend public tours of its landmark headquarters due to fire-safety concerns.

The move comes in the wake a city fire inspection of the complex that turned up 866 code violations, the New York Post said Wednesday. It was the first such inspection since 1952.

Marjorie Tiven, the city's commissioner to the United Nations, told the organization in a letter this week that the city was halting tours by New York public-school students and urged the United Nations to close the building to all public tours.

Fire officials told the Post that a major point of concern was a lack of fire doors that would prevent a fire from spreading through the building's hallways.

They said the United Nations had promised last year to correct most of the violations but didn't follow through with many of them due to cost.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman told the newspaper that the United Nations considered the building to be safe.