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Old August 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM   #1
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Report: 7 WTC Collapse Cause By Fire

Here it is for the conspiracy theorists...

NY Times

Fire, Not Explosives, Felled 3rd Tower on 9/11, Report Says

By ERIC LIPTON
Published: August 21, 2008



GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Fires in the 47-story office tower at the edge of the World Trade Center site undermined floor beams and a critical structural column, federal investigators concluded on Thursday, as they attempted to curb still-rampant speculation that explosives caused the building’s collapse on Sept. 11, 2001.

No one died when the tower, 7 World Trade Center, tumbled, as the estimated 4,000 office workers there at the time had evacuated before it gave way, nearly seven hours after the second of the twin towers came down.

But the collapse of 7 World Trade Center — home at the time to branch offices of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service and the Giuliani administration’s emergency operations center — is cited in hundreds of Web sites and books as perhaps the most compelling evidence that an insider secretly planted explosives, intentionally destroying the tower.

A separate, preliminary report issued in 2002 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency questioned whether diesel fuel tanks installed in the tower to supply backup generators — including one that powered the Giuliani administration’s emergency “bunker” — might have been to blame.

But S. Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, based here in the suburbs of Washington, also rejected that theory on Thursday, even as he acknowledged that the collapse had been something of a puzzle.

“Our take-home message today is the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” Dr. Sunder said at a news conference at the institute’s headquarters. “It did not collapse from explosives or fuel oil fires.”

The institute’s findings were released on Thursday as part of a 915-page report resulting from the work of more than 50 federal investigators and a dozen contractors over three years.

Conspiracy theorists have pointed to the fact that the building fell straight down, instead of tumbling, as proof that explosives were used to topple it, as well as to bring down the twin towers. Sixteen percent of the respondents in a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll said it was very likely or somewhat likely that explosives were planted.

During the last four decades, other towers in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have remained standing through catastrophic blazes that burned out of control for hours because of malfunctioning or nonexistent sprinkler systems. But 7 World Trade Center, which was not struck by a plane, is the first skyscraper in modern times to collapse primarily as a result of a fire. Adding to the suspicion is the fact that in the rush to clean up the site, almost all of the steel remains of the tower were disposed of, leaving investigators in later years with little forensic evidence.

Using videos, photographs and building design documents, the investigators at the National Institute spent the last three years building an elaborate computer model of 7 World Trade Center that they used to test various chains of events to figure out what caused the collapse, Dr. Sunder said.

The investigators determined that debris from the falling twin towers damaged structural columns and ignited fires on at least 10 floors at 7 World Trade Center, which stood about 400 feet north of the twin towers. But the structural damage from the falling debris was not significant enough to threaten the tower’s stability, Dr. Sunder said.

The fires on six of the lower floors burned with particular intensity because the water supply for the sprinkler system had been cut off — the upper floors had a backup water supply — and the Fire Department, devastated by the collapse of the twin towers, stopped trying to fight the blaze.


Normally, fireproofing on a skyscraper should have been sufficient to allow such a blaze to burn itself out and leave the building damaged but still standing. But investigators determined that the heat from the fire caused girders in the steel floor of 7 World Trade Center to expand. As a result, steel beams underneath the floors that provided lateral support for the tower’s structural columns began to buckle or put pressure against the vertical structural columns.

These fires might have been fed partly by the diesel from tanks and a pressurized fuel line, which were on the fifth to the ninth floors, Dr. Sunder said. But the analysis showed that even in the worst case, the diesel fuel-fed fire would not have burned hot enough or long enough to have played a major role in weakening the structure. The investigators determined that the fire that day was fed mainly by office paper and furnishings.

The collapse started when a girder on the 13th floor disconnected from a critical column — listed as Column 79 — that supported a long open floor span, the report said. Once that floor gave way, the floors below it down to the fifth floor also collapsed, although this was not visible from the building’s exterior.

Without lateral support for nine stories, Column 79 buckled, and the floors above gave way all the way up to the roof. Only then did the collapse become visible from the exterior with a penthouse area on the roof first falling in, followed by what looked like the sudden implosion of the tower, Dr. Sunder said. “The physics is consistent, it is sound, it has been analyzed,” he said.

Skeptics have questioned whether explosives were planted at the three towers at ground zero, and at the Pentagon as well, often contending that the Bush administration had planned the catastrophes to provide a justification to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. What started as a small number of such conspiracy theorists ballooned into a movement of sorts, largely fed by Internet sites and homemade videos.

Dr. Sunder said the investigators considered the possibility that explosives were used, but ruled it out because the noise associated with such an explosion would have been 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert, he said, and detectable from as far as a half a mile away. He said that interviews with eyewitnesses and a review of video taken that day provided no evidence of a sound that loud just before the collapse.

The skeptics — including several who attended Thursday’s news conference — were unimpressed. They have long argued that an incendiary material called thermite, made of aluminum powder and a metal oxide, was used to take down the trade center towers, an approach that would not necessarily result in an explosive boom. They also have argued that a sulfur residue found at the World Trade Center site is evidence of an inside job.

Dr. Sunder said the investigators chose not to use the computer model to evaluate whether a thermite-fueled fire might have brought down the tower, since 100 pounds of it would have had to have been stacked directly against the critical column that gave way, which he said they did not believe had occurred.

To the skeptics, it was a glaring omission.

“It is very difficult to find what you are not looking for,” said Shane Geiger, who contributes to a Web site that follows the topic and who had come to Maryland from Texas to quiz Dr. Sunder about his findings, with a bumper sticker on his laptop computer that says, “9-11 was an inside job.”

Dr. Sunder attempted to patiently answer the questions that Mr. Geiger and another obvious critic presented to him during the news conference. Five armed police officers and a bomb-sniffing dog stood guard near the rear of the room.

Dr. Sunder said there were no apparent flaws in 7 World Trade Center’s design that contributed to its collapse and that it met New York City codes. But there are some important lessons for other skyscrapers, he said, as engineers and architects should consider how the heat from fires can weaken structural elements, potentially causing a so-called progressive collapse.

Owners of tall buildings with a similar floor design — he could not estimate how many such towers exist in the United States — should immediately consider whether to install reinforcements, he said, and perhaps codes should be changed to address the weakness.

A new, substantially different 7 World Trade Center — now 52 stories — reopened at roughly the same site in 2006. The new building has extra safety features, including wider emergency stairwells and a fire-resistant refuge area on each floor.

Within moments after the news conference ended, leaders of a group called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth held their own telephone conference briefing, dismissing the investigation as flawed.

“How much longer do we have to endure the coverup of how Building 7 was destroyed?” said Richard Gage, a California architect and leader of the group.

Told of the doubts, Dr. Sunder said he could not explain why the skepticism would not die.

“I am really not a psychologist,” he said. “Our job was to come up with the best science.”

Text of Report: [pdf]

http://wtc.nist.gov/media/NIST_NCSTA...ic_comment.pdf
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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No report is going to convince the die hard fans of conspiracy theories, and as you can see in the article, they're NOT convinced. Wackos will be wackos.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 12:08 AM   #3
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Why can't we just move on - I never even thought any of this was an inside job.

Pathetic and desperate attempt to explain someone's theory.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 12:16 AM   #4
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I'm glad they finished this as I was just checking to see if it was out last week. It happened pretty much like I had imagined, but what I found interesting was that the eastern portion of the building was essentially an empty shell for a few seconds before the west interior began to collapse.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:44 PM   #5
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:48 PM   #6
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Aaand?!
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:50 PM   #7
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Still interesting that Larry Silverstein was able to give word to someone to "Pull it"... According to his interview on PBS.

Something else interesting in this article;

“I am really not a psychologist,” he said. “Our job was to come up with the best science.”

But hey, who am I? Just an average citizen, who are we to want to investigate what happens on our soil as American people? This sort of reminds me of that 9/11 Commission report. They hire someone to investigate themselves. Lol. And we all are expected to go along with the findings of their self-investigation as a matter of fact.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 04:28 PM   #8
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I can't understand why so much emphasis is given to Larry Silverstein's saying 'pull it'. It seems like the conspiracy theorists are grasping at straws. It is quite obvious that he is referring to the attempt to save WTC7 and, afterwards he says 'so they made the decision to pull and we watched the building fall down'.

I think Silverstein was, maybe unwittingly, crediting himself with powers that he didn't have. At the end of the day, it will be the fire chiefs who will decide whether to risk the lives of their men in attempting to save a building and I doubt very much that a property developer, however powerful, could influence that decision.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 05:40 PM   #9
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Well, you try and explain this to the conspiracy buffs. Sometimes is like talking to 3-year olds.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 09:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmin View Post
Well, you try and explain this to the conspiracy buffs. Sometimes is like talking to 3-year olds.
Idiots will believe whatever they are told to believe. There is no concrete proof, it was an "Inside Job"... Just because someone doesn't believe the "Official" story, does NOT mean they are "Conspiracy Theorists". You guys even labeling anyone who doesn't agree with it as that, is evident of your societal conditioning. In order to be a conspiracy theoristist, you must speculate as to what really did happen. Some people, such as myself have no idea what happen. But certainly doesn't believe a story with as much loop holes in it as this one. Their efforts to investigate themselves is so obvious, it becomes repulsive. The sad part about it is that the American people are so content with their perceived safety and economic security, they feel no need to ever question the powers that regulate their lives. And whats worst, we have a media that cooperate with them, in order to sell these stupid stories. Our media is owned by 4 company's, that answers first to the White Houses' AP, but the American people will never care about that. There is NOTHING wrong with questioning the official story, in fact that makes you a true citizen. The people that run this government may love the American country, but they HATE the American people.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 09:12 PM   #11
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You're using the same "pull it" argument, which is used by conpiracy theorists as far as I can see. I for one find the official story, with all its alleged loop holes, far more convincing then any other story I've heard. And yeah, I'm a bit sick of hearing the same lines year after year.

I believe the official story because it's the most rational one. It simply makes sense, which is something I can't say about the others.

I didn't imply you're a conspiracy theorist though.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #12
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Just as I thought, now we hopefully can move on from the "it was imploded" theories.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #13
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Apparently we can't. See the above posts.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #14
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Yes, some people won't move on but that's fine because they are entitled to their opinions, but the building is gone, the new one built, and it's not like anyone died in WTC 7 unlike the other buildings so to me it seems right to go with the most logical reason, in this case the fact it collapsed from fire, and move on.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amd1588 View Post
Idiots will believe whatever they are told to believe. There is no concrete proof, it was an "Inside Job"... Just because someone doesn't believe the "Official" story, does NOT mean they are "Conspiracy Theorists". You guys even labeling anyone who doesn't agree with it as that, is evident of your societal conditioning. In order to be a conspiracy theoristist, you must speculate as to what really did happen. Some people, such as myself have no idea what happen. But certainly doesn't believe a story with as much loop holes in it as this one. Their efforts to investigate themselves is so obvious, it becomes repulsive. The sad part about it is that the American people are so content with their perceived safety and economic security, they feel no need to ever question the powers that regulate their lives. And whats worst, we have a media that cooperate with them, in order to sell these stupid stories. Our media is owned by 4 company's, that answers first to the White Houses' AP, but the American people will never care about that. There is NOTHING wrong with questioning the official story, in fact that makes you a true citizen. The people that run this government may love the American country, but they HATE the American people.
Think about these two statements:

'There is no concrete proof, it was an "Inside Job"'

'Their efforts to investigate themselves is so obvious, it becomes repulsive.'

So, although in your first statement, you accept the possibility that the government of the USA had nothing to do with 911, in your second you say they are 'investigating themselves'. I suspect that you are not even aware of that contradiction.

What this investigation has done is to do what investigations do - spend ages looking through documentary evidence, interviewing witnesses, carrying out computer analysis and formulating and testing theories. At the end of it, they have produced a long, complicated and boring report - as investigations do, which, sadly, concludes that there was no foul play involved. So, of course, it is rejected out of hand by people who want to believe in conspiracies.

And whilst it may well be true that people are stupid and complacent and will accept anything the government tells them. (I must be doubly stupid because it is not even my government) don't forget that there are certain psychological reasons for people wanting to believe in conspiracies. Try these three and see if they fit:

1. Youthful paranoia - a condition of young people through the ages that comes about through disenchantment with the adult world. People such as Bush and Silverstein become symbols of that hated adult world and youngsters will attribute the most evil intent to them. Most of us grow out of that though.

2. The Unknowable Mind - Paradoxically, belief that your own government conspired to kill thousands of its own citizens is in some way comforting. The official version of 911 is that religious zealots sacrificed their own lives and killed so many innocent people in the belief that they would be greeted by 70 beautiful virgins in paradise. To most of us, that way of thinking is beyond our comprehension and we just cannot argue with people with that mindset. How much better to believe that 911 was an inside job inspired by good old greed and lust for power. We may not like people who behave that way but we can understand them and we can be angry with them as they are more like us. That removes our feeling of powerlessness and restores our belief that people like us, good or bad, are in control.

3. Because its More Interesting - We are all brought up on thrillers and detective stories in which respectable middle aged, middle class people are exposed as thieves and murderers. We all want to play Columbo 'Just one last thing Mr Bush - why did you say that you had seen the first plane crash when pictures weren't released till two days later?' Much more interesting than wading through incomprehensible reports by structural engineers.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 03:17 AM   #16
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Spot on, Martin!
And yeah, I admit... I'm doubly stupid too.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #17
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I am happy that this report has finally been released. It will at least provide some basis to show that this building was not purposely taken down by any inside job.

Admittedly there are some conpiracy theories that I have at some points believed in, possibly because I was really young or gullible. However when it comes to 9/11 conspiracy theories, I view them as a laughable attempt to get attention or to show their overwhelming bias towards the Bush administration.

Granted I don't like Bush at all and think he has been our worst president however I am not going to go out and support a conspiracy theory. At some point one has to step back and realize that if they are not going to accept the investigation by the government then when will they be able to accept a government investigation. I mean it is a slippery slope that if one falls into you may not get into. Sounds almost anarchist to me but I guess that's just me talking.

Also these type of investigations are not concrete, that is they do not go and say that 100% of the information in the report happened in real life but instead that this is the most likely possibility, as there is no concrete evidence this happened exactly. The report goes on to state what it believes is the most plausible cause for collapse, which is probably why many are drawn to conspiracy theories, because these reports are never concrete.

So before you go off and call it all a big lie, you should realize that these investigations are making many educated gueses to reach the conclusions they do, therefore providing those holes in the "loop."
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #18
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bush-science?

wow - the first, steel framed skyscraper in history, which collapsed completely mainly due to fire according to the government run institute (NIST)

We had high rise, even steel framed buildings like WTC 7, which burned longer, and there were no collapses at all (Meridian Plaza for example burned 19 hours on 8 floors) ... additionally - there we have no reports of (in contrast to WTC 7):

-sounds of explosions,

-molten metal,

-"intergranular melting" of steel (steel temperatur around 1000 degree C),


-a "cooking" debris field with smoldering fires ranging from 400║F to more than 2,800║F according to an Environment team from Bechtel.

-explosions in wtc 7 before the collapse of the twin towers - see testimony of Barry Jennings Uncut

-almost free fall speed, straight down collapse similar to controlled demolition.

People - please inform yourself at the website:

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth!
431 architectural and engineering professionals and 2209 other supporters including A&E students have signed the petition demanding of Congress a truly independent investigation.

Last edited by oib; August 25th, 2008 at 11:15 AM. Reason: perfection
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #19
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Poznaj prawdę o 9/11...

Dla tych co znają język polski/polish
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Rebuild The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center !
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #20
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Just for kicks, what is the bottom line you and your merry men are advocating? Why would this country or any other for that matter, destroy structures with their own people in them. The United States would be nearly last on that list for that kind of bullshit.
Your theory sounds like the kind of scenario a lesser country like China or North Korea would try to pull off, but for the life of me I can't understand why they would do it either!
Do you have anything short to say that would make any sense or are you just going to label this country an evil state of some sort?
Go ahead, I can't wait. Keep it short
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