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Was the WTC 7 pulled?

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Last updated:  10/24/2006

The "out-of-control" fire...

 

What did officials say was the most likely culprit that caused the WTC 7 to collapse?

 

"The performance of WTC 7 is of significant interest because it appears the collapse was due primarily to fire, rather than any impact damage from the collapsing towers." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 

"That mystery is the collapse of a nearby 47-story, two-million-square-foot building seven hours after flaming debris from the towers rained down on it, igniting what became an out-of-control fire.

With the collapse of both towers by 10:30 a.m., larger pieces of the twin towers had smashed parts of 7 World Trade and set whole clusters of floors ablaze...it burned like a giant torch." -New York Times (11/29/01)

 
 

 

 

 

Do you see an "out-of-control" fire engulfing the 47-story WTC 7 like a "giant torch", or just a few floors on fire?

 

 

Time photo taken and source unknown. 

Please email source if found.

Photo taken at 12:28 pm.  (Photo source:  NIST)

East face fire on floors 11-12 near 2 pm. 

(Photo source:  NIST)

 

"One eyewitness who saw the building from a 30th floor apartment approximately 4 blocks away to the northwest noted that fires in the building were not visible from that perspective." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 

North face fires on floors 7 and 12 near 3 pm.  (Photo source:  NIST)

Fires on the 11th and 12th floors of the east face of the WTC 7.  (Photo source:  FEMALouver - A framed opening, as in a wall, door, or window, fitted with fixed or movable horizontal slats for admitting air and light and shedding rain.

 
 

 

 

 

How and when did the WTC 7 catch on fire and how long did it burn for before it collapsed?

 

"At 10:29 a.m., WTC 1 (the north tower) collapsed, sending its debris into the streets below. The extent and severity of the resulting damage to WTC 7 are currently unknown. However, from photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts discussed below, it was assumed that the south side of the building was damaged to some degree and that fires in WTC 7 started at approximately this time."

"Approximately 7 hours after fires initiated in WTC 7, the building collapsed."

"WTC 7 collapsed approximately 7 hours after the collapse of WTC 1." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 

SW Corner Damage Starting at Floor 18.  (Photo source:  NIST)

(Photo source:  FEMA)

 

"The new, 52-story 7 World Trade Center was conceived immediately after the destruction of the original 47-floor structure by the terrorist acts of 9/11. The building was not directly hit by the two planes that took down the larger World Trade Center towers, and there were no known casualties due to its collapse; yet, the performance of the original WTC 7 is significant because it appears its destruction was due primarily to fire, started by some combination of debris falling from WTC 1 and a fuel-distribution system needed to run the building's generators. The resulting fire burned for about seven hours before its collapse at 5:20 the afternoon of Sept. 11." -Concrete Products (05/01/04)

 
 

 

 

 

How did the firefighters determine the fires in the WTC 7 were "out-of-control" only an hour after the fires supposedly started and when it only seemed like a few floors were on fire?

 

"With the collapse of both towers by 10:30 a.m., larger pieces of the twin towers had smashed parts of 7 World Trade and set whole clusters of floors ablaze. An hour later, the Fire Department was forced to abandon its last efforts to save the building as it burned like a giant torch.

"Falling debris also caused major structural damage to the building, which soon began burning on multiple floors, said Francis X. Gribbon, a spokesman for the Fire Department. By 11:30 a.m., the fire commander in charge of that area, Assistant Chief Frank Fellini, ordered firefighters away from it for safety reasons." -New York Times (11/29/01)

 


 

"Although WTC 7 was sprinklered, it did not appear that there would have been a sufficient quantity of water to control the growth and spread of the fires on multiple floors. In addition, the firefighters made the decision fairly early on not to attempt to fight the fires, due in part to the damage to WTC 7 from the collapsing towers. Hence, the fire progressed throughout the day fairly unimpeded by automatic or manual suppression activities.

It appears that the sprinklers may not have been effective due to the limited water on site and that the development of the fires was not significantly impeded by the firefighters because manual firefighting efforts were stopped fairly early in the day.

WTC 7 collapsed approximately 7 hours after the collapse of WTC 1. Preliminary indications were that, due to lack of water, no manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 
 

 

 

 

What permitted the fires in the WTC 7 to burn for 7 hours before it collapsed?

 

"Available information indicates that fires spread horizontally and vertically throughout the building during the course of the day. The mode of spread was most likely either along the south facade that was damaged, or internally through shafts or the gap between the floor slab and the exterior wall. It is currently unclear what fuel may have been present to permit the fires to burn on these lower floors for approximately 7 hours." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 
 

 

 

 

Was there a sprinkler system in the WTC 7?

 

► "WTC 7 was a sprinklered building. However, on the 5th floor, only the core spaces were sprinkler protected, and none of the electrical equipment rooms in the building were sprinkler protected. The sprinkler protection was of "light hazard" design. The sprinkler system on most floors was a looped system fed by a riser located in Stairway 2. The loading dock was protected with a dry-pipe sprinkler system. The area of the fuel tank for OEM had a special fire detection and suppression system.
The Fire Pump Room was located on the ground floor in the southwest corner of the building and contained an automatic (as well as a manual) fire pump. There were two Fire Department of New York connections in the southwest quadrant - one on the south facade and one on the west facade.
Each stairway had standpipes in it. At each floor in each stairway, there was a 2-1/2-inch outlet with a 1-1/2-inch hose (with a 3/4-inch nozzle). In addition, the east side of each floor also had a supplemental fire hose cabinet. Primary water supply to the standpipe system came from a yard main, which was fed from the municipal water supply." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 
 

 

 

 

Was the diesel fuel being stored in the WTC 7 the culprit that made it collapse?

 

"As engineers and scientists struggle to explain the collapse of 7 World Trade Center, they have begun considering whether a type of fuel that was inside the building all along created intensely hot fires like those in the towers: diesel fuel, thousands of gallons of it, intended to run electricity generators in a power failure.
One tank holding 6,000 gallons of fuel was in the building to provide power to the command bunker on the 23rd floor. Another set of four tanks holding as much as 36,000 gallons were just below ground on the building's southwest side for generators that served some of the other tenants.
Engineers and other experts have already uncovered evidence at the collapse site suggesting that some type of fuel played a significant role in the building's demise, but they expect to spend months piecing together the picture of what remains a disturbing puzzle.

Within the building, the diesel tanks were surrounded by fireproofed enclosures. But some experts said that like the jet fuel in the twin towers, the diesel fuel could have played a role in the collapse of 7 World Trade.
Dr. Barnett and Mr. Baker are part of an assessment team organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to examine the performance of several buildings during the attacks. If further studies of the debris confirm the findings of extremely high temperature, Dr. Barnett said, "the smoking gun would be the fuel."
Others experts agreed that the diesel fuel could have speeded the collapse, but said the building might have met the same fate simply because of how long it burned.
"The fuel absolutely could be a factor," said Silvian Marcus, executive vice president for the Cantor Seinuk Group and a structural engineer involved in the original design of the building, which was completed in 1987. But he added, "The tanks may have accelerated the collapse, but did not cause the collapse."
Because of those doubts, engineers hold open the possibility that the collapse had other explanations, like damage caused by falling debris or another source of heat.
The mayor's command bunker, built in 1998, included electrical generators on the seventh floor, where there was a small fuel tank, said Jerome M. Hauer, director of the mayor's Office of Emergency Management from 1996 to 2000. That tank was fed by a tank containing thousands of gallons of diesel fuel on a lower floor, he said.
The manager of the building when it collapsed, Walter Weems, said the larger tank sat on a steel-and-concrete pedestal on the second floor and held 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel. He said an even larger cache, four tanks containing a total of 36,000 gallons of diesel fuel, sat just below ground level in the loading dock near the southwest corner of the building.
A combination of an uncontrolled fire and the structural damage might have been able to bring the building down, some engineers said. But that would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures, Dr. Barnett said." -New York Times (11/29/01)

 


 

Burning Diesel Is Cited in Fall of 3rd Tower
"Massive structural beams that functioned as a sort of bridge to hold up the 47-story skyscraper known as
7 World Trade Center were compromised in a disastrous blaze fed by diesel fuel, leading to the building's collapse on Sept. 11, investigators have concluded in a preliminary report...As much as 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel was stored near ground level in the tower and ran in pipes up to smaller tanks and emergency generators for Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's command center, the Secret Service's office and other tenants...Investigators have determined that the burning fuel apparently undermined what is known as a transfer truss. The trusses, a series of steel beams that allowed the skyscraper to be built atop multistory electricity transformers, were critical to the structural integrity of the building and ran near the smaller diesel tanks. A failure of the same type of structural bridge contributed to the collapse of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City when it was bombed in 1995. Federal guidelines for public buildings, created in 1996, warned of the dangers of such trusses in terrorist attacks...Fire officials did at one point question the storage of large amounts of fuel well above the ground level, saying that one large tank for the mayor's command center, if ever compromised, might fuel a fire that would threaten the building...Dr. John D. Osteraas, director of civil engineering practice, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, in Menlo Park, Calif., reviewed videos of the collapse, discussed it with other engineers and came to a similar conclusion; the fuel, the trusses and the fire brought 7 World Trade down. "The pieces have come together," he said. "Without the fuel, I think the building would have done fine." -New York Times (3/2/02)

 


 

"Command and control, so crucial in a crisis, was haphazard or non-existent as the full impact of the attacks were felt.
Again, Giuliani and his administration knew these issues would be crucial if there was another attack of the 1993 level or worse.
In his testimony, Giuliani said it was not unusual to be apprised of security threats to the city on a daily basis.
After the 1993 attack, the city moved to create an Emergency Operations Center, a state-of-the-art command center that could coordinate all of the resources of city, state and federal agencies in case of disaster.
It was a prudent idea, as the city needed such a center for exactly the type of crisis that hit on 9/11.
But a little-known fact is that the city never used its Emergency Operations Center. Why?
Mayor Giuliani had decided to build the new EOC at the World Trade Center, on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, a building just across the street from the main towers.
In the mid 1990s, numerous parties, including George Marlin, then executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the WTC, urged Giuliani not to place the Emergency Operations Center at the Trade Center.
It made no sense: The Towers had already been a terrorist target. And what about having the EOC 23 floors above ground if the power went out?
In a prescient column in June 1998, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert called Giuliani’s EOC a "skybox bunker" and questioned how you could have a secure facility 23 stories above the ground, in a building shared by multiple private tenants and needing elevators.
He noted that Los Angeles had completed a similar facility underground, which, Herbert noted, was a facility "far more secure than the 23d floor of a high-rise."
As it turned out, Giuliani decided, apparently based on political considerations, to place the EOC on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center.
On Sept. 11, 7 World Trade Center and the entire staff of the EOC, including Giuliani, were evacuated after the second plane struck the North Tower.
The then-director of the EOC noted that the city could not use this center "at the moment when it was needed most." It took three days to create a makeshift center on a pier on the Hudson River.
World Trade Center 7 would still be in use today had the EOC not been placed there.
Tons of fuel stored in the basement of 7 WTC leaked out after the attacks. The fuel had been placed there for one reason: to keep the EOC and the elevators powered in an emergency.
After the attacks on the Twin Towers, these fuel tanks broke open and caught fire. Within hours, the building collapsed.
The fuel problem with the EOC was evident well before 9/11, however.
As the Times reported, "Fire Department officials warned the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1998 and 1999 that a giant diesel fuel tank for the mayor’s $13 million command bunker in 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story high-rise that burned and collapsed on Sept. 11, posed a hazard and was not consistent with city fire codes.
"The 6,000-gallon tank was positioned about 15 feet above the ground floor and near several lobby elevators and was meant to fuel generators that would supply electricity to the 23rd-floor bunker in the event of a power failure. Although the city made some design changes to address the concerns – moving a fuel pipe that would have run from the tank up an elevator shaft, for example – it left the tank in place.
"But the Fire Department repeatedly warned that a tank in that position could spread fumes throughout the building if it leaked, or, if it caught fire, could produce what one Fire Department memorandum called ‘disaster.’"
Certainly Mayor Giuliani offered charismatic leadership after 9/11. But his judgments leading up to the tragic day – as well as the actions of his administration in the immediate aftermath – should be questioned.
Those who question should not be demonized.
We owe much to the brave men and women who died that day.
If we fail to ask the tough questions and demand accountability from our public officials, many more lives could be lost in the next attack." -NewsMax.com (05/24/04)

 


 

Giuliani Improvises After Command Center Gets Hit

"New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani got a lot of ribbing when, in 1998, he ordered the construction of a $15 million emergency command center from which he could direct recovery efforts from possible terrorist attacks on the city.
The press dubbed it “the bunker,” and Giuliani’s political enemies poked fun at his desire to guard the city against bombings or chemical or biological attack.
Giuliani appears prescient today, but what he couldn’t foresee was that the location he picked for the bunker — 7 World Trade Center — would become ground zero for the Sept. 11 attack on the complex.
The 47-story building in which the command center was located is now part of the rubble that includes the World Trade Center towers." -Washington Technology (10/08/01)

 
 

 

 

 

Was there a high-pressure gas main in the building that could have contributed to it's collapse?

 

"The fuel tanks were not the only highly flammable materials in the building. But while some engineers have speculated that a high-pressure gas main ruptured and caught fire, there was none in the area, said David Davidowitz, vice president of gas engineering at Consolidated Edison. The building was served only by a four-inch, low-pressure line for the building's cafeteria, Mr. Davidowitz said." -New York Times (11/29/01)


"Early news reports had indicated that a high pressure, 24-inch gas main was located in the vicinity of the building; however, this proved not to be true." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 
 

 

 

 

Can a fire inside a steel building get hot enough to to melt the steel and make it collapse?

 

Flame temperatures in room fires
"There is fairly broad agreement in the fire science community that flashover is reached when the average upper gas temperature in the room exceeds about 600°C. Prior to that point, no generalizations should be made: There will be zones of 900°C flame temperatures, but wide spatial variations will be seen. Of interest, however, is the peak fire temperature normally associated with room fires. The peak value is governed by ventilation and fuel supply characteristics [14] and so such values will form a wide frequency distribution. Of interest is the maximum value which is fairly regularly found. This value turns out to be around 1200°C, although a typical post-flashover room fire will more commonly be 900~1000°C. The time-temperature curve for the standard fire endurance test, ASTM E 119 [15] goes up to 1260°C, but this is reached only in 8 hr. In actual fact, no jurisdiction demands fire endurance periods for over 4 hr, at which point the curve only reaches 1093°C." -Fire Science and Technology Inc


What's the melting point of steel?
"Most steel has other metals added to tune its properties, like strength, corrosion resistance, or ease of fabrication. Steel is just the element iron that has been processed to control the amount of carbon. Iron, out of the ground, melts at around 1510 degrees C (2750°F). Steel often melts at around 1370 degrees C (2500°F)." -Jefferson Lab


An Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7
"A section of
an A36 wide flange beam retrieved from the collapsed World Trade Center Building 7 was examined to determine changes in the steel microstructure as a result of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. This building was not one of the original buildings attacked but it indirectly suffered severe damage and eventually collapsed. While the exact location of this beam could not be determined, the unexpected erosion of the steel found in this beam warranted a study of microstructural changes that occurred in this steel. Examination of other sections in this beam is underway.
ANALYSIS
Rapid deterioration of the steel was a result of heating with oxidation in combination with intergranular melting due to the presence of sulfur. The formation of the eutectic mixture of iron oxide and iron sulfide lowers the temperature at which liquid can form in this steel.
This strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached ~1,000ºC, forming the eutectic liquid by a process similar to making a “blacksmith’s weld” in a hand forge." -JOM (12/02)


"A combination of an uncontrolled fire and the structural damage might have been able to bring the building down, some engineers said. But that would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures, Dr. Barnett said." -New York Times (11/29/01)


"But for about two and a half months after the attacks, in addition to its regular duties, NYDS played a major role in debris removal — everything from molten steel beams to human remains." - Waste Age (04/01/02)


NEW SEISMIC DATA REFUTES OFFICIAL EXPLANATION
"Two unexplained “spikes” in the seismic record from Sept. 11 indicate huge bursts of energy shook the ground beneath the World Trade Center’s twin towers immediately prior to the collapse.
American Free Press has learned of pools of “molten steel” found at the base of the collapsed twin towers weeks after the collapse. Although the energy source for these incredibly hot areas has yet to be explained, New York seismometers recorded huge bursts of energy, which caused unexplained seismic “spikes” at the beginning of each collapse.
These spikes suggest that massive underground explosions may have literally knocked the towers off their foundations, causing them to collapse.
In the basements of the collapsed towers, where the 47 central support columns connected with the bedrock, hot spots of “literally molten steel” were discovered more than a month after the collapse. Such persistent and intense residual heat, 70 feet below the surface, in an oxygen starved environment, could explain how these crucial structural supports failed.
Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction of Flushing, N.Y., told AFP that he saw pools of “literally molten steel” at the World Trade Center.
The molten steel was found “three, four, and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed,” Loizeaux said. He said molten steel was also found at 7 WTC, which collapsed mysteriously in the late afternoon." -American Free Press (9/03/02)

 
 

 

 

 

If a fire can collapse a skyscraper, then why didn't these skyscrapers collapse from their massive fires that were all much larger and most burned for much longer than the fire at the WTC 7?

 

Windsor Tower Fire - Feb. 13, 2005

"A fire described as the worst in Madrid's history ravaged a 32-story skyscraper in the Spanish capital's financial district on Sunday, causing no injuries, but the tower stayed upright despite fears of collapse.
More than 200 firefighters worked all night to quell the spectacular blaze in the Windsor building, the city's eighth largest tower that looms over the northern financial district.
"We have confronted the most extensive fire that this city has ever had," Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon said.
At its peak, the fire lit up the Madrid sky like a huge torch as temperatures inside reached 1,000 degrees centigrade.
Giant balls of flame billowed up into the night as parts of its sides collapsed, raining fire on to the street below. Surrounding buildings were evacuated and roads blocked.
The blazing tower evoked memories for many Spaniards of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York." - ABC/Reuters (02/13/05)

"The skyscraper in Madrid's business district that was gutted by a weekend fire remains upright, but unstable, today.
The blaze started on Saturday night and declared under control about 21 hours later.
Within hours of catching fire at about the 21st floor, several top floors collapsed onto lower ones.
"If the partial collapses keep happening, it would be lying to say it's impossible that the whole building couldn't fall down," firefighter official Fernando Munilla said.
Madrid police chief Constantino Mendez said even if the building didn't collapse "it will have to be demolished because it's in ruins".
"There is no such thing as zero risk but I'd say it's not very likely it will collapse," Aroca said.
"It immediately reminded me of the attack on the twin towers," in New York in September 2001, one onlooker said." -Sydney Morning Herald/AP/AFP (02/14/05) (Photos source:  SkyScraperPage.com)

(See also:  9/11 and the Windsor Tower Fire - Christopher Bollyn)

 

Parque Central Torre Este Fire - Oct. 17, 2004

"Military helicopters doused one of Venezuela's tallest buildings with water Sunday, bringing under control a blaze many feared might cause the tower to collapse.
Earlier, nearby residences and businesses were evacuated. Two floors and some staircases in the building collapsed. But by Sunday afternoon, the temperature inside the burning building had dropped, lessening the danger of a collapse, Caracas fire chief Rodolfo Briceno said.
"Engineers have gone up there and inspected" the building, Briceno said, adding that "it is very solid."
Neighbors of the 56-story, 730-foot office tower were allowed to return to their residential buildings in downtown Caracas' Parque Central complex Sunday afternoon, but firefighters expected to work through the night to extinguish the last flames and keep them from spreading.
The blaze began before midnight Saturday on the 34th floor of the East Tower in the complex, Briceno said. By Sunday afternoon, it had burned for more 17 hours and spread over 26 floors, reaching the roof. The complex was built in 1976 and is considered a Caracas landmark.
The high temperatures also stopped firefighters from reaching the tower's upper floors, where the fire was strongest. Military troops and rescue teams were brought in to help, and military helicopters flew over the building, dropping water on the tower, which houses government offices and ministries.
Firefighters' efforts were also hampered by malfunctioning water pumps and the lack of fire extinguishers inside the building as fire laws are not strictly enforced in Venezuela.
Earlier in the day, officials expressed fears that the building might collapse.
"There is a problem because the building is made of steel. Because of the high temperatures, the structure could collapse," Interior minister Jesse Chacon told President Hugo Chavez during his weekly radio and television show." -CBS (10/18/04) (Right photo source:  turpial.org)

 

One Meridian Plaza Fire - Feb 23, 1991

"At about 8 p.m. on Saturday, 23 February 1991, linseed oil-soaked rags left behind by a cleaning crew burst into flames on the 22nd floor of the 38-story One Meridian Plaza in downtown Philadelphia. The fire quickly spread, unimpeded by fire sprinklers, throughout the 22nd floor and then upward.
The twelve-alarm fire burned for 18 hours. The extreme heat caused window glass and frames to melt and concrete floor slabs and steel beams to buckle and sag dramatically. Large shards of window glass fell from the facade, cutting through fire hoses on the ground around the building. Three firefighters were trapped on a fully engulfed floor, and efforts to rescue them failed.
The fire would not yield and there were increasing concerns about the stability of the structure. Fire officials called off the attack and allowed the fire to "free burn," concentrating their efforts on containing the fire to this building. When the fire reached the 30th floor, a tenant-installed fire-sprinkler system was activated, and the worst high-rise fire in U.S. history was finally brought under control.
Some of the aluminum framing and glass melted, indicating temperatures in the range of 1,000 degrees F to 1,300 degrees F.
After the fire, some areas of the granite crumbled readily under hand pressure due to a phase change in the quartz crystals that occurs at temperatures of about 1,060 degrees F." -Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

(Photo courtesy of:  Serendipity)

 

First Interstate Bank Fire - May 4, 1988

"During the late evening of May 4, 1988, and the early morning of May 5, 1988, members of the Los Angeles City Fire Department successfully battled what has proven to be the worst, most devastating high-rise fire in the history of Los Angeles. Extinguishing this blaze at the 62-story First Interstate Bank Building, 707 West Wilshire Boulevard, required the combined efforts of 64 fire companies, 10 City rescue ambulances, 17 private ambulances, 4 helicopters, 53 Command Officers and support personnel, a complement of 383 Firefighters and Paramedics, and considerable assistance from other City departments.
It is humbling and terrifying to realize how close we came to losing control of this fire! Had it not been for the extraordinary commitment to duty, staunch determination to extinguish the fire at all costs, and unabated heroism and courage of our brave Firefighters, I am convinced that the fire would not have been contained as it was in 3-1/2 hours." - LAFire.com

 

Golden Plaza Tower Fire - Feb. 26, 2005

"RESCUE helicopters plucked nine people to safety from a revolving restaurant on top of a blazing building in Taiwan yesterday after fire and thick smoke killed four people in the 23-storey block.
The blaze was visible from miles around the island’s third city, but no information was immediately available about the cause of the fire.
The fire apparently started on the 18th floor and spread higher through the tower before it was extinguished, officials said.
The fire department was called to the blaze in the city centre building at about 4pm local time.
A spokesman said it took about one and a half hours to extinguish." -Scotsman (02/27/05)

 
 

 

 

 

Is it more believable that the WTC 7 became the first major structure in U.S. history to collapse from a fire and hardly received any media attention, or that it was secretly demolished and that's why it hardly received any media attention?

 

"WTC-7 was a 47-story building and became a two-story pile of rubble," Hamburger said, "making it the first major structure in the United States to collapse because of fire." -Stanford Report (12/03/01)


"The 2 million-square-foot building, 7 World Trade Center, had suffered mightily from the fire, and had been wounded by beams falling off the towers. But experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire." -Chicago Tribune (11/09/01)


"WTC 7 collapsed on September 11, 2001, at 5:20 p.m. There were no known casualties due to this collapse. The performance of WTC 7 is of significant interest because it appears the collapse was due primarily to fire, rather than any impact damage from the collapsing towers.  Prior to September 11, 2001, there was little, if any, record of fire-induced collapse of large fire-protected steel buildings." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)


"Almost lost in the chaos of the collapse of the World Trade Center is a mystery that under normal circumstances would probably have captured the attention of the city and the world. That mystery is the collapse of a nearby 47-story...Building 7 didn't get much attention in the media" -New York Times (11/29/01)


"Sprayed on the steel, almost like imitation snow in holiday decorations, was a layer of fireproofing material, generally less than an inch thick. Although the fireproofing was intended to withstand ordinary fires for at least two hours, experts said buildings the size of 7 World Trade Center that are treated with such coatings have never collapsed in a fire of any duration.
Most of three other buildings in the complex, 4, 5 and 6 World Trade, stood despite suffering damage of all kinds, including fire. -New York Times (11/29/01)

 
 

 

 

 

Was the investigation into the collapse of the WTC adequate?

 

"...you would think we would have the largest fire investigation in world history. You would be wrong. Instead, we have a series of unconnected and uncoordinated superficial inquiries. No comprehensive "Presidential Blue Ribbon Commission." No top-notch National Transportation Safety Board-like response. Ironically, we will probably gain more detailed information about the destruction of the planes than we will about the destruction of the towers. We are literally treating the steel removed from the site like garbage, not like crucial fire scene evidence.
The World Trade Center disaster demands the most comprehensive detailed investigation possible. No event in our entire fire service history has ever come close to the magnitude of this incident." -Fire Engineering Magazine


"For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.
Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.
Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the "official investigation" blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation committee members- described by one close source as a "tourist trip"-no one's checking the evidence for anything.
Maybe we should live and work in planes. That way, if disaster strikes, we will at least be sure that a thorough investigation will help find ways to increase safety for our survivors.
As things now stand and if they continue in such fashion, the investigation into the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals.
However, respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers. Rather, theory has it, the subsequent contents fires attacking the questionably fireproofed lightweight trusses and load-bearing columns directly caused the collapses in an alarmingly short time. Of course, in light of there being no real evidence thus far produced, this could remain just unexplored theory.
The frequency of published and unpublished reports raising questions about the steel fireproofing and other fire protection elements in the buildings, as well as their design and construction, is on the rise. The builders and owners of the World Trade Center property, the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, a governmental agency that operates in an accountability vacuum beyond the reach of local fire and building codes, has denied charges that the buildings' fire protection or construction components were substandard but has refused to cooperate with requests for documentation supporting its contentions.
Clearly, there are burning questions that need answers. Based on the incident's magnitude alone, a full-throttle, fully resourced, forensic investigation is imperative.
To treat the September 11 incident any differently would be the height of stupidity and ignorance.
The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.
The federal government must scrap the current setup and commission a fully resourced blue ribbon panel to conduct a clean and thorough investigation of the fire and collapse, leaving no stones unturned." -Fire Engineering Magazine


"There has been a lot of speculation about the facts that both towers collapsed and were utterly destroyed by the airplanes. Most of these "conspiracy theories" are weakened or completely undermined by the ignorance of their authors.
If there is any "conspiracy" here, it concerns the fact that then-NYC-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ordered the speedy removal and burial in a landfill of all of the structural steel members found at the site. Giuliani's motivation for this highly unusual and very suspicious action was simply to prevent fire investigators from proving that the collapse of 7 World Trade Center -- which wasn't struck by one of the planes -- was in fact caused by the explosion of the fuel tank that Giuliani ordered installed in the building so that his prized "Emergency Command Center" on the 23rd floor could function, even in the event of a "disaster" that might cause the building's electricity to be cut off." -New York Psychogeographical Association/Not Bored (11/30/01)


"As the Times reported, "Fire Department officials warned the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1998 and 1999 that a giant diesel fuel tank for the mayor’s $13 million command bunker in 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story high-rise that burned and collapsed on Sept. 11, posed a hazard and was not consistent with city fire codes.
Certainly Mayor Giuliani offered charismatic leadership after 9/11. But his judgments leading up to the tragic day – as well as the actions of his administration in the immediate aftermath – should be questioned.
Those who question should not be demonized.
If we fail to ask the tough questions and demand accountability from our public officials, many more lives could be lost in the next attack." -NewsMax.com (05/24/04)

 
 

 

 

 

So what did FEMA finally conclude from it's investigation into why the WTC 7 collapsed?

 

"The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue." -FEMA: WTC Study, Chp 5 (05/02)

 
 

 

 

 

Can we trust the NIST when they say they found no evidence of bombs in the WTC 7?

 

"Events resulted in a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure NIST has seen no evidence that the collapse of WTC 7 was caused by bombs, missiles, or controlled demolition." -NIST:  Response to the WTC Disaster, Part IIC (04/05/05)

 

 


 

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