Birmingham Airport Authority tightlipped after executive session

Birmingham Airport Authority continue accident investigation
This is the flight status board at the Birmingham Airport that fell on a mother and her four children. Source: Aaron Lee
This is the flight status board at the Birmingham Airport that fell on a mother and her four children. Source: Aaron Lee

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Many questions remain about a fatal accident at the Birmingham airport that killed a young boy and injured several members of his family.

FOX6 News learned Thursday that it will likely be some time before many of those questions are answered. Nearly a week ago, the Bresette family, who is from Kansas, was at the Birmingham airport when a flight status board fell on top of them.

Two of the Bresette brothers were released from Children's of Alabama earlier this week after  being treated for a variety of injuries. The mother, Heather, remains at UAB in fair condition.

For the second time in a week, the Birmingham Airport Authority met to discuss the accident. Thursday morning the authority met behind closed doors in an executive session for more than two hours. This allowed them to discuss the situation in privacy with their attorneys.

Once they convened, President Al Denson made a statement to the media. He gave his condolences to the Bresette family and apologized for the situation.

He also said that immediately after the incident happened, the authority called the general contractor and architect who had worked on the terminal modernization project where the incident happened. Denson said the authority was told to inspect similar units like the one that fell on the Bresette family to make sure they were secure. Denson said that work has been completed.

As for answers to what exactly happened to cause the cabinet to fall, Denson had few details.

"The final determination of this accident will likely be the result of an extended in depth investigation which has been in process since last Saturday," he said. "The assessment of blame is nor a goal of the authority. Such determination may lie in a different forum."

Authority members did not take any questions from the media.

Wednesday, Mayor William Bell expressed his frustration at the lack of information shared in the investigation so far. He said it was "unacceptable that we continue to wait for answers" about what went wrong at the airport last Friday.

Birmingham councilor Steven Hoyt says he understands Bell's frustration.

"The mayor can criticize and do what he needs to do…what he deems necessary. Obviously it's not an answer he's satisfied with. I'm not sure any of us are satisfied with, or will be in the end," he said.

Hoyt added that the focus right now should remain on the Bresette family. He is not aware if the authority has hired a lawyer to handle the accident case.

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