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Financial District responds to USC 'dirty bomb' study

By Sonali Kohli
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 01:02PM
Sonali Kohli

The U.S. Bank Tower is the tallest building in Downtown.



A recently released study from USC discusses the long-term effects of a dirty bomb attack in downtown L.A.'s Financial District. Although the results have been garnering a great deal of media attention, some people who actually work in the area are unfazed by the study.

The report delves into the possible $16 billion loss that LA could suffer as a result of the psychological and economic effects of a terrorist attack in the Financial District. The study says that psychological effects of an attack would likely prevent people from dining and shopping in an area for an extended period of time. It also suggests people who work in the area would demand higher pay if they were to return to work there.

Amber Albert, a Big Man Bakes employee in the U.S. Bank Tower (the tallest building in Los Angeles), agreed with the majority of surveyed people in the report.

She said she wouldn’t return to work in the building if the area was targeted in an attack, and if she did consider it, she would demand a larger salary.

“It would be hard to bring people back down here,” Albert said.

Patrice Mare, a Bank of America employee who works with mutual funds, said that terrorist risks for him would be comparable in any city because of the industry he works in and the location of their places of business.

“I would be concerned, but in general we need to move on with our lives,” Mare said. “Things happen everywhere.”

Ben Saravia works at the Uptown Drug and Gift Shop, which is attached to the Citibank building and right next to the U.S. Bank Tower. Saravia said he thinks he'd continue working in the area post-attack and not ask for higher pay -- because once a location has been targeted, it's not likely it will be attacked again, he said.

But, Saravia added, it’s impossible to know how he really would react in a situation like this.

“It’s hard to say because it hasn’t happened to you,” he said.

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