Doomed piece of glass meets its fate in Virginia quake


Photo: Doug Church, National Air Traffic Controllers Association

By Scott Sistek

It was a piece of glass that was apparently never meant to exist.

Ten years ago when the 6.8 Nisqually quake struck the Seattle area, one of the places that suffered significant damage was the control tower at Sea-Tac Airport.

As the ground rocked, most of the tower's 3/4" thick glass windows fell outward to the ground, and controllers were showered with ceiling tiles and other debris.

Nobody was injured and inbound flights were brought to safe landings, but Sea-Tac was closed most of the day. The tower was already scheduled to be replaced with a new tower which opened in 2004.

But a piece of glass that survived the quake found a new home at the headquarters of the National Air Traffic Controller's Association in Washington, D.C.

Make that a temporary home.

The association's Doug Church wrote to KOMO News Tuesday to let us know a little piece of Seattle history was no more.

"Interesting tidbit about the East Coast earthquake today," Church wrote. "The only thing that fell and broke during the quake here this afternoon at the NATCA HQ building in Washington, D.C.: A piece of glass that our Sea-Tac members gave us from the old SEA tower that was heavily damaged in the February 2001 Seattle earthquake!"

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