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  WTC 7: First large building ever to collapse from fire alone (no debris impact)
Posted by: Admin on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 11:59 AM GMT
Drums of War According to a May, 2002 FEMA report (from Chapter 5):
WTC 7 collapsed on September 11, 2001, at 5:20 p.m. There were no known casualties due to this collapse. The performance of WTC 7 is of significant interest because it appears the collapse was due primarily to fire, rather than any impact damage from the collapsing towers. Prior to September 11, 2001, there was little, if any, record of fire-induced collapse of large fire-protected steel buildings.
As can be seen in the photo below (from Knoxville News Sentinel Sept. 11 photo gallery, this particular photo reportedly from the New York City Office of Emergency Management), WTC 6, which was immediately adjacent to WTC 1, has a large hole in the middle from falling debris, yet did not collapse. In contrast, WTC 7 (which had the US Secret Service and IRS as tenants) is neatly collapsed between the unscathed Federal Building and the NY Telephone building (see the map below, which is from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, which credits the New York Times).

Note: the photo and the map are 180 degrees apart in orientation, so you'll have to perform some mental gymnastics. For example, the Federal Building is in the lower-left of the photo and the upper-right of the map.

In contrast to WTC 1 and WTC 2, WTC 7 was a traditional steel lattice structure (see the FEMA report for detailed diagrams), so the "pancake" explanation doesn't work for WTC 7. Indeed, the FEMA report is unable to draw any conclusions and puts forth only some hypotheses. The photo below, from the FEMA report (with copyright credit to Roberto Rabanne), shows the neatly-contained implosion of WTC.

To see a video of how WTC7 fell straight down in a seemingly controlled manner, visit the WTC 7 page.

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