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  DepletedUranium

The 1992 crash of an El Al Boeing-747 into an apartment building in Amsterdam resulted in contamination of the surrounding area because of the burning of some of the Depleted Uranium used in the small counterweights of the control surfaces. http://www.anawa.org.au/weapons/du-gulf.html The burning of the amount of DU required to do a significant damage to the Pentagon would have resulted in toxic exposure that could have easily extended to much of the Capital.

Kerosene fires do not burn hot. Only high explosive and shaped charges generate huge amount of heat, and depleted uranium (DU) is a incendiary that is added to warheads to increase their penetrating ability. Uranium is [WWW]pyrophoric i.e. it burns fiercely in air, igniting at temperatures over 500 oC and fires that result from a DU warhead burn at 2000-5000 oC. A decade ago, DU was heavily used mainly in anti-tank ordnance, because it increases the penetrating power significantly. Since that time it has been widely adopted for use in much of the US arsenal. Its use has been integrated into the design of "shaped-charges". Recent "bunker-buster" warheads may contain a [http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/agm-154.htm 1/2 tonne of DU], in addition to the explosive warhead.

[WWW]Xymphora's blog has a summary on the possible usage of DU in the Pentagon attack:

    The debate about whether Flight 77 or something else hit the Pentagon takes on a new meaning if we consider the possible use of a missile containing [WWW]depleted uranium. There is quite a lot of debate on the issue, but depleted uranium is probably relatively safe unless it catches fire. It has a tendency to catch fire on impact, and the burning seems to make it more effective as a piercing weapon. Depleted uranium is sometimes used in commercial aircraft (but apparently not in the Boeing 757), but is really put to extensive use in bombs and cruise missiles. When it makes contact with its target and catches fire, the uranium turns into an aerosol, which is likely to be extremely toxic if inhaled. The use of depleted uranium in Serbia, Bosnia and Iraq has probably caused increased rates of cancer and birth defects (needless to say, NATO and the US government dispute this ).

    Depleted uranium may even be the culprit behind Gulf War Syndrome. There are campaigns to ban the use of depleted uranium in [WWW]bombs and missiles. One of the reasons it is so popular is that its use in weapons provides a cheap way to dispose of nuclear waste, killing, as it were, two birds with one stone. Of course, the fact that depleted uranium tends to burn on contact with its target may explain why no debris was found in the Pentagon (and the ability of DU to provide punching power through even the toughest materials may explain how the missile penetrated into the Pentagon as far as it did). The possible presence of depleted uranium aerosol raises an important safety issue, an issue ignored by those who are certain that it was Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. Were the people who put out the fire, cleaned up the damage, and rebuilt the Pentagon properly protected? Were the people working in the Pentagon near the crash site subjected to dangerous levels of a toxic substance?

Some of the photos of the debris removal work at the Pentagon long after the attack indicate that they are taking [WWW]extraordinary precautions against contamination, perhaps for this very reason. Notice the use of [WWW]full gas masks, coveralls and disposable outer covers on their boots.

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