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9/11 Commission

Building 7's Implosion

At 5:20 PM, on 9/11/01, the angular facade of Building 7 went limp, and the building fell straight down into a cloud of dust. Since the building had been evacuated much earlier, the collapse is not thought to have killed anyone.

The resemblance of Building 7's collapse to a textbook, controlled demolition is clearly evident in videos of the event. The following three videos can be viewed on www.wtc7.net, a site devoted to investigating the collapse of Building 7.

(1.4 MB) This 36-second video shows Building 7 from a distant northeast vantage point. (1.5 MB) This 9-second video shows Building 7 from about a mile to the northeast on West Broadway. (1.7 MB) This 9.6-second video shows Building 7 from about 1000 feet to the north.

All of the videos and images show Building 7 collapsing in a smooth vertical motion. Timing of the first and second videos above reveals that the entire collapse took only 6.5 seconds, ignoring the collapse of the east penthouse, which occurred a few seconds before the main event.

After its precipitous collapse, all that was left of the 47-story skyscraper was a tidy pile of rubble lying almost entirely with the building's footprint.

What Caused Building 7 to Implode

The only government body to investigate the collapse of Building 7 was a group of volunteer engineers selected and supervised by FEMA. In their report they present an incredible scenario in which fires cause the collapse of the building, and admit that it has "a low probability of occurrence".

If fires leveled Building 7 it would be the first case in history of fires causing the total collapse, or even the partial collapse, of the columns in a steel-framed high-rise. Fires far more severe than those observed in Building 7 caused no damage to the steel columns of other buildings.

WTC7.net highlights the absurdity of the idea that random damage could have caused this building to undergo a demolition-style implosion.

e x c e r p t
title: What Caused Building 7's Collapse?
authors: Jim Hoffman


Fires have never been known to damage steel columns in highrise buildings, but if they could, the damage would be produced gradually and would be localized to the areas where the fire was the most intense.

No combination of debris damage, fuel-tank explosions, and fires could inflict the kind of simultaneous damage to all the building's columns required to make the building implode. The precision of such damage required to bring Building 7 down into its footprint was especially great given the ratio of its height to its width and depth. Any asymmetry in the extent and timing of the damage would cause such a building to topple.

One interesting detail about the building's collapse is that the eastern block of the mechanical penthouse dropped six seconds before the entire building fell. (This structure was far from any of the areas of fire observed.) 'Plaguepuppy' suggested this might have been to adjust the load for a more precise demolition.

This sort of collapse is precisely what would be expected from a classical controlled demolition, with the charges going off at ground level to allow the building to settle into its own footprint. Of all the collapses WTC-7 was the most precise, with almost all the wreckage confined to the footprint of the building. It appears that some internal charges were set off to "adjust" the internal structure of the building for an orderly collapse, causing the left end of the penthouse to drop. The building had an unusual design because it had to be built over an existing three story tall electrical substation, leading to a large transfer truss through the middle of the building above the electrical gear. Such a non-homogeneous structure would not fall perfectly straight without some preparation.

The advance drop of the eastern penthouse may also have been planned for human engineering purposes, giving the report-writers something to point to in order to make the collapse seem less precipitous than it was.

page last modified: 2008-10-02
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Building 7 collapsed entirely in 6.5 seconds.