NEW YORK (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that negligence was not the cause of the collapse of a third World Trade Center tower several hours after the twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued the decision Wednesday in a 2-to-1 ruling. It stemmed from several decisions in recent years by a lower court judge who found that a company owned by developer Larry Silverstein and others could not be held liable.
    
The utility Consolidated Edison Co. had claimed negligence resulted when World Trade Center Tower 7 tenants were allowed to install diesel backup generators. The fuel burned for hours in the 47-story building after hijacked planes struck the two nearby towers.

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