3 – World Trade Center 7

World Trade Center 7 was the control centre for the World Trade Center, housed the Mayor of New York’s high-security and highly reinforced emergency management office, and contained offices belonging to the CIA, the US Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the IRS. The building had specifically been designed and reinforced “to allow entire portions of floors to be removed without affecting the building’s structural integrity, on the assumption that (future tenants) might need double-height floors”.

It was not hit by a plane, but, the story goes, was set alight by burning debris from the falling north tower, and suffered ordinary office-type fires on ten non-consecutive floors of its 47. Here are those fires:

The few existing pictures of the south side of the building – the side that was struck by falling debris – show lots of thick black smoke but no flame whatsoever. Yet, at 5:20pm, WTC 7 collapsed, spontaneously, entirely and symmetrically in just seven seconds. NIST determined that neither structural damage from falling debris nor fuel tanks contained within the building contributed to the collapse (p48-9).

To get a steel-framed building to collapse in this highly uniform manner at near free-fall speed (in fact, NIST confirmed that around eight storeys – over 100ft – fell at free-fall speed (p45)), involves having all steel support columns throughout the building fail within a tenth of a second of each other. It is highly improbable that any fire could produce this result, but if it were possible, it would have to be a widespread fire engulfing a great many columns at once. This was not the case in WTC 7, as we can clearly see. Moreover, NIST’s report (p48) claims that the collapse was due to the heat-induced buckling of just one of the building’s 82 support columns. This cannot explain total symmetrical collapse, nor the destruction of 400 other structural steel connections per second which had to take place in order for the building to fall so fast.

After 9/11, WTC 3 still had four floors standing despite large portions of both towers having fallen on it. Half of WTC 4 remained standing to full height although the other half was crushed by rubble and the rest suffered serious fire. WTCs 5 and 6  suffered massive structural damage from falling debris and blazed for hours, but experienced only partial, gradual and asymmetrical minor collapses. The nearby 90 West Street building burned for three days. Numerous other neighbouring buildings were scarred by falling steel. No other building collapsed.

Top: World Financial Center 3 (American Express), Bankers Trust, WTC 5, WTC 3 (Marriott Hotel) after WTC 2 destruction.
Middle: Verizon building, WTC 6, Fiterman Hall (30 West Broadway).
Bottom: 90 West Street, Bankers Trust, remaining half of WTC 4, WTC 3 (Marriott Hotel) after destruction of both towers.
Please click to zoom.

Another surprising thing about the collapse of WTC 7 is that some were expecting it. Despite the facts that the fires were not significant, the building was highly reinforced, it had not been hit by a plane, and no other building like it had ever collapsed due to fire alone, firefighters in the area were told that the building would collapse, and news stations even reported its collapse before it happened! There is no logical explanation for this foreknowledge, and it appears to have come from a warning by Mark Loizeaux, an engineer and the president of leading building demolition firm Controlled Demolition Inc. Loizeaux also warned in advance that the twin towers would collapse imminently, even though they and many other skyscrapers had previously survived hours-long fires and not collapsed. Controlled Demolition Inc. is employed by the US Department of Defence, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice and Department of State, and oversaw the clear-up of the WTC crime scene, as well as the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma, which was bombed in 1995 in another attack in which US intelligence agents are implicated.


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