Preliminary Report: Faulty wiring at MGM National Harbor could pose safety risk
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. - Two sources connected to Prince George's County's Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement tell FOX 5 portions of the property at MGM National Harbor are "not safe to occupy" because of a "violation involving the fire pump installation," according to a preliminary warning written by an electrical inspector in the last two weeks and obtained by FOX 5.
The sources say higher-ranking officials in the county's permitting agency reviewed the inspector's order and rewrote it to minimize the danger it pointed out. That revised order was then shared with MGM, according to the sources.
FOX 5 asked DPIE, the county's permitting and inspection agency, about the alleged revision and the underlying document. The agency says it did not minimize the preliminary report, but worked with the inspector, the fire department and other experts to revise it to include new information.
That new information, the county says, supported the conclusion that there was no imminent danger. The county acknowledges that corrections need to be made to the fire pump and electrical system, but says the property does not need to be shut down to make the repairs.
A building's fire pump maintains water pressure to the sprinkler system used in case of a fire. It is often powered by electricity, sometimes with a diesel generator as a backup.
The preliminary correction order, written by a high-ranking electrical inspector for the county, said, "Such areas should be closed and said pump immediately taken off line and all connections terminated until the corrections are made."
The document went on to say, "If we have failure with this installation, the magnitude and potential loss of life is inevitable."
The immediate work that was ordered in the original document was not completed and the building was not shut down, per the sources and MGM's own admission.
DPIE says the fixes its revised report ordered are ongoing, but MGM declined to share specifics of the corrections with FOX 5.
When asked about the order and the underlying alleged issues with the fire pump and accompanying wiring, MGM refuted the county inspector's preliminary report and said the company hired a third-party to inspect the fire pump who found no imminent danger.
A copy of that third party report has not been provided to FOX 5 by MGM because officials do not have it yet. Company officials did provide FOX 5 with an email from the third-party inspector, L. Terry Carnes, which says, "I have completed my initial inspection and survey of the fire pump installation, and have found no condition or code violation that would require drastic measures, such as disconnecting the pump until corrections have been made."
MGM National Harbor provided a statement that reads:
"Upon receiving a notice from Prince George's County identifying a potential electrical issue, we immediately engaged a county certified independent inspector. After thorough review, the inspector determined there is no imminent danger or safety issue at the property."
On June 26, a 6-year-old girl, Zynae Green, was shocked after she touched a handrail on MGM National Harbor's property. According to a family member, she is alive but was in critical condition.
Sources say the report of the faulty wiring with MGM's fire pump is not related to the shock incident and was discovered afterward. It's unclear what caused the railing to become electrified in Zynae's case and there is an ongoing police investigation.