Fire, Not Extra Explosives, Doomed Buildings,
Fleck Journal Staff Writer A New Mexico
explosives expert says he now believes there were no explosives in
the World Trade Center towers, contrary to comments he made the
day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
fire is what caused the building to fail," said Van Romero, a vice
president at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
The day of the
attack, Romero told the Journal the towers' collapse, as seen in
news videotapes, looked as though it had been triggered by
carefully placed explosives. Subsequent
conversations with structural engineers and more detailed looks at
the tape have led Romero to a different conclusion. Romero supports
other experts, who have said the intense heat of the jet fuel
fires weakened the skyscrapers' steel structural beams to the
point that they gave way under the weight of the floors above.
That set off a
chain reaction, as upper floors pancaked onto lower ones. Romero said he
believes still it is possible that the final collapse of each
building was triggered by a sudden pressure pulse caused when the
fire reached an electrical transformer or other source of
combustion within the building.
But he said he
now believes explosives would not have been needed to create the
collapse seen in video images. Conspiracy
theorists have seized on Romero's comments as evidence for their
argument that someone else, possibly the U.S. government, was
behind the attack on the Trade Center.
Romero said he
has been bombarded with electronic mail from the conspiracy
very upset about that," he said. "I'm not trying to say anything
did or didn't happen."
BELOW IS THE ORIGINAL STORY AS IT APPEARED ON
SEPT. 11, 2001 hours after the attack