- Despite reports from numerous eyewitnesses and
experts, including news reporters on the scene, who heard or saw
explosions immediately before the collapse of the World Trade Center,
there has been virtual silence in the mainstream media.
- Television viewers watching the horrific events of
Sept. 11 saw evidence of explosions before the towers collapsed.
Televised images show what appears to be a huge explosion occurring
near ground level, in the vicinity of the 47-story Salomon Brothers
Building, known as WTC 7, prior to the collapse of the first
- Van Romero, an explosives expert and former director
of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at New Mexico
Tech, said on Sept. 11, "My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that
after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some
explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to
- The collapse of the structures resembled the
controlled implosions used to demolish old structures and was "too
methodical to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the
structures," Romero told The Albuquerque Journal hours after the
- Implosions are violent collapses inwards, which are
used to demolish buildings in areas of high density, to prevent damage
to surrounding buildings. Precision-timed explosives are placed on
strategic load-bearing columns and beams to cause the controlled
- Demolition experts say that towers are the most
difficult buildings to bring down in a controlled manner. A tower
tends to fall like a tree, unless the direction of its fall is
controlled by directional charges. The WTC towers "smokestacked"
neatly, falling within the boundaries of their foundations.
- Skeptics say this could not have happened
coincidentally and it must have been caused by strategically placed
and precisely timed internal charges. Videotape images may reveal
these internal charges precipitating the controlled demolition of the
towers and WTC 7.
- Romero is vice president of research at New Mexico
Institute of Mining and Technology, which studies explosive materials
and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other
structures, and often assists in forensic investigations into
terrorist attacks, often by setting off similar explosions and
studying the effects.
- After being hit by the aircraft, the twin towers
appeared to be stable. Then without warning, at 9:58 a.m. the south
tower imploded vertically downwards, 53 minutes after being hit. At
10:28, 88 minutes after being struck, the north tower
- "It would be difficult for something from the plane
to trigger an event like that," Romero said. If explosions did cause
the towers to collapse, "It could have been a relatively small amount
of explosives placed in strategic points," he said.
- "One of the things terrorist events are noted for is
a diversionary attack and secondary device," Romero said. Attackers
detonate an initial, diversionary explosion, in this case the
collision of the planes into the towers, which brings emergency
personnel to the scene, then detonate a second explosion.
- Ten days after the attack, following criticism of
his initial remarks, Romero did an about-face in his analysis of the
collapse, "Certainly the fire is what caused the building to fail," he
told the Journal on Sept. 21.
- The twin towers were struck by Boeing 767's carrying
approximately 23,000 gallons of fuel.
- However, there is other information that lends
credence to Romero's controversial scenario. One eyewitness whose
office is near the World Trade Center told AFP that he was standing
among a crowd of people on Church Street, about two-and-a-half blocks
from the South tower, when he saw "a number of brief light sources
being emitted from inside the building between floors 10 and 15." He
saw about six of these brief flashes, accompanied by "a crackling
sound" before the tower collapsed. Each tower had six central support
- One of the first firefighters in the stricken second
tower, Louie Cacchioli, 51, told People Weekly on Sept. 24: "I was
taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in
position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We
think there were bombs set in the building."
- Kim White, 32, an employee on the 80th floor, also
reported hearing an explosion. "All of a sudden the building shook,
then it started to sway. We didn't know what was going on," she told
People. "We got all our people on the floor into the stairwell . . .
at that time we all thought it was a fire . . .We got down as far as
the 74th floor . . . then there was another explosion."
- The accepted theory is that as the fires raged in
the towers, the steel cores in each building were heated to 2,000
degrees Fahrenheit, causing the support beams to buckle.
- A lead engineer who designed the World Trade Center
Towers expressed shock that the towers collapsed after being hit by
- "I designed it for a 707 to hit it," Lee Robertson,
the project's structural engineer said. The Boeing 707 has a fuel
capacity of more than 23,000 gallons, comparable to the 767's
23,980-gallon fuel capacity.
- Another architect of the WTC, Aaron Swirski, lives
in Israel and spoke to Jerusalem Post Radio after the attack: "It was
designed around that eventuality to survive this kind of attack," he
- Hyman Brown, a University of Colorado civil
engineering professor and the World Trade Center's construction
manager, watched in confusion as the towers came down. "It was
over-designed to withstand almost anything including hurricanes, high
winds, bombings and an airplane hitting it," he said.
- Brown told AFP that although the buildings were
designed to withstand "a 150-year storm" and the im pact of a Boeing
707, he said the jet fuel burning at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit weakened
the steel. Brown ex plained that the south tower collapsed first as it
was struck lower with more weight above the impact area.
- Brown told AFP that he "did not buy" the theory that
the implosion was caused by the fires sucking the air out of the lower
floors, which has been speculated.
- The contractor who is reported to have been the
first on the WTC collapse scene to cart away the rubble that remains
is a company that specializes in the scientific demolition of large
buildings, Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) of Baltimore, headed by
- CDI is the same contractor that demolished and
hauled away the shell of the bombed Oklahoma City Murrah building,
actions that prevented independent investigators from pursuing
evidence on leads suggesting that there were bombs set off inside the
- In February 2000, a federal grand jury indicted Mark
Loizeaux, Douglas Loizeaux and Controlled Demolition, Inc. on charges
of falsely reporting campaign contributions by asking family members
and CDI employees to donate to the campaign of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings
- The Baltimore Sun reported that the illegal
contributions allegedly occurred between 1996 and 1998. The Loizeaux
brothers and CDI were acquitted in Sept ember 2000. Cleaning up the
estimated 1.2 million tons of rubble will reportedly cost $7 billion
and take up to a year.
- Removing the debris has also been controversial. The
police said that some scrap metal has been diverted to mob-controlled
businesses rather than the dump where investigators are examining
rubble for clues and human remains.
- The second plane nearly missed the South Tower,
cutting through a corner. Most of its fuel burned in an outside
explosion. However, this building collapsed first, long before the
North Tower, into which a similar plane entered completely.
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