2007-09-11

Word Trade Center collapse - a controlled demolition?

From the department of letting-the-experts-speak:
An analysis of the World Trade Center collapse has challenged a conspiracy theory surrounding the 9/11 attacks.

The study by a Cambridge University, UK, engineer demonstrates that once the collapse of the twin towers began, it was destined to be rapid and total.

One of many conspiracy theories proposes that the buildings came down in a manner consistent with a "controlled demolition".

The new data shows this is not needed to explain the way the towers fell.

Over 2,800 people were killed in the devastating attacks on New York.

After reviewing television footage of the Trade Center's destruction, engineers had proposed the idea of "progressive collapse" to explain the way the twin towers disintegrated on 11 September 2001.

2 comments:

James Garth said...

As an engineer, I'm conscious of how large-scale destructive events can produce counter-intuitive effects. Search for "F-4 crash test" on Youtube for a good example of a counter-intuitive effect of an aircraft literally disappearing when it collides into a wall. The speed of the aircraft which hit the pentagon would have been comparable to the fighter in this test, explaining why such little wreckage of the hijacked plane was remaining (a commonly recurring gripe with conspiracy theorists)

It is typical for conspiracy theorists to tend to put too much focus on trying to strive to explain counter-intuitive effects with more 'conventional' explanations. The conspiratorial theory for the WTC 7 collapse is a good example of this.

If you're interested, Popular Mechanics magazine has been a champion of the 'official' 9/11 Report explanation, and has marshaled many experts who have provided qualified support for it.

One Salient Oversight said...

I've seen that footage actually and some have said that it proves that the WTC was demolished since the concrete wall was not destroyed. Yet the facts were that:

a) Even a fully laden F-4 would weigh less than the passenger jets that hit the WTC. Thus the passenger jets had more potential energy to expend, along with more fuel. I don't think that the F-4 was travelling any faster than the jets that hit the WTC.

b) The concrete structure of the WTC was nowhere near as strong as the reinforced concrete block that the F-4 hit. The block was specially designed for maximum resistance against a force like an aircraft hitting it. The WTC structure was not designed this way.