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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  January 2005

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE January 2005

Subject:

Re: some conspiracy theories

From:

Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 27 Jan 2005 14:50:55 -0800

Content-Type:

multipart/alternative

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (345 lines) , text/enriched (621 lines)

"Pull" most likely means "'pull out the fire department" not anything
more sinister.

Best,
Michael
On Jan 27, 2005, at 1:55 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:

> The problem with this early-ish NY Times report is that the only fires,
> contrary to the NY Times report, were, as of 3 pm, small  ones on the
> 7th and 12th floors and seemingly containable. The much-awaited
> FEMA report, which came later, expressly concluded: "The specifics of
> the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain
> unknown at this time."
>
> The report also says -- contravening the earlier Times article -- that
> the
> fuel tanks were intact and not compromised.
>
> You can read the report for yourself at
> http://www.fema.gov/library/wtcstudy.shtm
>
> In a September 2002 PBS documentary called "America Rebuilds," the
> owner of the World Trade Center complex, Larry Silverstein, who had
> bought the entire complex a short time before the attacks, stated in
> reference to WTC 7:
>
> "I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander,
> telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain
> the fire, and I said, "Weve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the
> smartest thing to do is pull it. And they made that decision to pull
> and
> we watched the building collapse."
>
> If, as Silverstein said, he decided to "pull" the building, how did
> they
> manage to rig explosives in a matter of hours that would successfully
> and safely take down a 47-story building amidst the chaos of 9-11,
> endagering rescue workers and equipment? Could explosives be
> bought (and from whom? Where is the paper trail, the order receipts,
> etc.?), brought to the location and carefully put into place within a
> couple of hours on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, and the
> 47-story building safely "pulled" at that time? If not, then the
> explosives
> would have had to have been in place for such an eventuality prior to
> 9-11.
>
> And, if explosives had been placed in that building beforehand, might
> they have also been placed at a prior time in the Towers as well?
>
> Silverstein Properties' estimated investment in WTC 7 alone was $386
> million. In February of 2002, Silverstein Properties won $861 million
> from Industrial Risk Insurers to rebuild on the site of WTC 7. This one
> building's collapse resulted in a profit for the owner of about $500
> million.
>
> Mitchel Cohen
>
> Original Message:
> -----------------
> From: Louis Proyect [log in to unmask]
> Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 14:59:22 -0500
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: some conspiracy theories
>
>
>> There was something fishy about a third WTC building collapsing
> much
>> as the twin towers had done, but without being hit by a jet plane or
>> anything else.
>
> NY Times, March 2, 2002, Saturday
>
> METROPOLITAN DESK
> A NATION CHALLENGED: GROUND ZERO; Burning Diesel Is Cited in
> Fall Of 3rd Tower
> By JAMES GLANZ and ERIC LIPTON
>
> Massive structural beams that functioned as a sort of bridge to hold up
> the
> 47-story skyscraper known as 7 World Trade Center were
> compromised in a
> disastrous blaze fed by diesel fuel, leading to the building's collapse
> on
> Sept. 11, investigators have concluded in a preliminary report.
>
> The tower was set on fire by debris from the twin towers and burned for
> about seven hours before collapsing in the late afternoon under
> previously
> unexplained circumstances. The analysis of its collapse is one of the
> first
> detailed findings by a team of engineers organized by the Federal
> Emergency
> Management Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers to
> understand
> the fate of all the buildings around the site.
>
> As much as 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel was stored near ground level
> in
> the tower and ran in pipes up to smaller tanks and emergency
> generators for
> Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's command center, the Secret Service's
> office and
> other tenants.
>
> Investigators have determined that the burning fuel apparently
> undermined
> what is known as a transfer truss. The trusses, a series of steel
> beams
> that allowed the skyscraper to be built atop multistory electricity
> transformers, were critical to the structural integrity of the
> building and
> ran near the smaller diesel tanks.
>
> A failure of the same type of structural bridge contributed to the
> collapse
> of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City when it was
> bombed in 1995. Federal guidelines for public buildings, created in
> 1996,
> warned of the dangers of such trusses in terrorist attacks.
>
> ''It's certainly right in the vicinity where the columns go into this
> transfer system,'' said a person knowledgeable about the investigators'
> draft report on the World Trade Center. ''The rest of the building is
> built
> on top of the bridge.''
>
> While 7 World Trade Center, which stood across Vesey Street just to
> the
> north of the twin towers, was not formally a federal building, it did
> house
> crucial government offices that included the city's nerve center for
> emergency response.
>
> The investigators said that their conclusions, combined with other
> findings
> about the failure and collapse of 5 World Trade Center, could prompt
> serious changes in the codes used in building construction.
>
> The findings are in a draft report that has already been circulated
> among
> government agencies, and are based on videos made on Sept. 11,
> witnesses'
> reports, interviews with firefighters, evidence from the debris pile
> and
> structural analysis. Team members, who described many of the
> findings,
> cautioned that the conclusions on the collapse of 7 World Trade Center
> could still be modified as reviews proceed.
>
> But Irwin Cantor, one of the building's original structural engineers,
> who
> is now a consulting engineer and member of the City Planning
> Commission,
> said the diesel-related failure of transfer trusses was a reasonable
> explanation for the collapse.
>
> He said he believed that diesel tanks were not envisioned in the
> original
> design of the building. ''It ended up with tenants who had diesels,''
> Mr.
> Cantor said. ''I know none of that was planned at the beginning.''
>
> According to floor plans submitted to the Port Authority of New York
> and
> New Jersey, which owns the land on which 7 World Trade sat, the
> building
> complied with city fire codes, said Frank Lombardi, the authority's
> chief
> engineer. Those codes permit no more than one fuel tank with a
> capacity of
> 275 gallons or less on above-ground floors, he said.
>
> Jerome M. Hauer, who was the director of Mayor Giuliani's Office of
> Emergency Management at the time the command center was opened
> at 7 World
> Trade, said several teams of engineers reviewed plans to open the
> office
> there. But no one ever mentioned any hazard associated with placing
> fuel
> tanks above ground, near a transfer truss, he said.
>
> ''There were a host of people who looked at this,'' said Mr. Hauer, who
> is
> now a managing director of the crisis and consequence group at Kroll
> Worldwide, a security consulting company based in New York. ''We
> relied on
> their judgment.''
>
> Fire officials did at one point question the storage of large amounts
> of
> fuel well above the ground level, saying that one large tank for the
> mayor's command center, if ever compromised, might fuel a fire that
> would
> threaten the building.
>
> The Sept. 11 draft report also has photographs and a description of
> debris
> collected from a previously undisclosed, multistory collapse within 5
> World
> Trade Center, a nine-story office building that also burned on Sept. 11
> but
> largely remained standing. The team has found that one specific type
> of
> bolted connection, called a column tree connection, that joined
> floor-support beams, failed in the heat of the fires, causing the
> four-story collapse in the part of 5 World Trade at the corner of Vesey
> and
> Church Streets.
>
> Although no one died as a result of the collapses in 5 and 7 World
> Trade
> Centers, since both stood long enough to be evacuated, the team's
> findings
> are likely to lead to recommended changes in the way public and
> government
> buildings are constructed, much the way similar studies did after the
> Northridge earthquake near Los Angeles in 1994 and the Oklahoma
> City bombing.
>
> The team is still deliberating on how tightly it can pin down the
> precise
> train of events that led to the collapse of the twin towers themselves.
> But
> until now, the collapse of 7 World Trade has stood as one of the
> outstanding mysteries of the Sept. 11 attack, since before then, no
> modern,
> steel-reinforced high-rise in the United States had ever collapsed in a
> fire.
>
> High-rise buildings are designed to be able to survive a fire, even if
> the
> fire has to burn itself out. The strategy is to ensure that the steel
> support structures are strong enough or protected well enough from
> fire
> that they do not give way in the time it takes for everything inside an
> office building, like furniture, to burn.
>
> In major high-rise fires elsewhere in the country, such as the 1
> Meridian
> Plaza fire in Philadelphia in 1991 and the First Interstate Bank fire
> in
> Los Angeles in 1988, this approach has worked. The 1 Meridian fire
> burned
> for 19 hours, leaping from floor to floor and burning out as
> combustible
> materials were used up. But the fires at 7 World Trade Center raged
> mainly
> on lower floors and never burned out, and in the chaos of Sept. 11, the
> Fire Department eventually decided to stop fighting the blazes.
>
> ''What the hell would burn so fiercely for seven hours that the Fire
> Department would be afraid to fight it?'' said one member of the
> investigating team.
>
> According to the Port Authority floor plans, 275-gallon diesel tanks
> sat
> on
> the fifth, seventh and eighth floors and were fed through pipes from
> the
> larger tanks near ground level. The team member said that while the
> diesel
> fuel remains the most likely candidate for feeding the fires, it was
> still
> unknown whether there could have been other sources of fuel in the
> building, kept there by tenants like the Secret Service that have
> disclosed
> little of what their spaces contained.
>
> The huge steel transfer trusses ran mostly through the fifth, sixth and
> seventh floors where the fires burned. The purpose of the trusses,
> which
> included zigzagging and horizontal members and were concentrated
> around the
> building's core, was to allow 7 World Trade to be built over two
> Consolidated Edison substations that already existed on that spot
> when the
> building went up in the late 1980's. Together the stations held 10
> transformers, each about 35 feet high and 40 feet wide.
>
> Using the trusses to avoid having vertical structural columns pierce
> the
> transformers, the building was constructed around them like a hen
> sitting
> on a giant egg.
>
> ''We had to do design tricks to accommodate the existing Con Ed
> facility,''
> said Mr. Cantor, the structural engineer. ''This building had an awful
> lot
> of transfers.''
>
> Transfer trusses are a well-tested technique and are used in countless
> high-rise buildings, as well as in bridges around the world. Engineers
> say
> that transfer trusses, for most buildings, present no extraordinary
> hazard.
> But if there is an explosion, earthquake or long-burning fire, they can
> present a problem.
>
> In Oklahoma City, during the 1995 bombing of the Federal Building, a
> large
> transfer girder on the building's third floor gave way, helping to
> precipitate a progressive collapse that later analysis showed was
> responsible for most of the 168 deaths. After this attack, federal
> guidelines for buildings that would hold government agencies were
> changed,
> recommending that buildings be designed so that single-point failures
> did
> not cause a catastrophic collapse.
>
> Videos of the 5:28 p.m. collapse of 7 World Trade lend vivid support to
> the
> truss-failure theory. Roughly 30 seconds before the building goes
> down, a
> rooftop mechanical room starts to disappear, falling into the
> building's
> core. Then a second larger rooftop room sinks. The building then
> quickly
> collapses.
>
> Both rooms were above sections of the building held up by the trusses.
> Other video evidence shows fire concentrated in the floors containing
> the
> trusses and the fuel tanks.
>
> Dr. John D. Osteraas, director of civil engineering practice, Exponent
> Failure Analysis Associates, in Menlo Park, Calif., reviewed videos of
> the
> collapse, discussed it with other engineers and came to a similar
> conclusion; the fuel, the trusses and the fire brought 7 World Trade
> down.
> ''The pieces have come together,'' he said. ''Without the fuel, I
> think the
> building would have done fine.''
>
> --
>
> www.marxmail.org
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> mail2web - Check your email from the web at
> http://mail2web.com/ .
>

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