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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Breaking: The Government Did Not Blow Up 7 WTC

posted by on August 21 at 13:33 PM

According to a new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, fire ignited by falling debris—and unimpeded by the sprinkler system, which failed to sprinkle because the city water main was broken—was the cause of the collapse of 7 World Trade Center.

The New York Times explains:

The investigators determined that debris from the falling twin towers ignited fires on at least 10 floors at 7 World Trade Center, which was about 400 feet north of where the city’s two tallest buildings once stood. The blazes burned out of control for six hours, as the city fire department, devastated by the collapse of the twin towers, abandoned its efforts to extinguish the fire, and the sprinkler system was incapacitated.

The heat from these fires, the investigators said, caused the beams on the lower floors of the east side of the tower to expand, ultimately causing a girder on the 13th floor to disconnect from a critical interior column that supported the building’s long floor spans. Once the 13th floor gave way, a cascade of floor failures started down to the fifth floor, leading to the overall collapse of the tower.

Skeptics have questioned if explosives were planted at 7 World Trade Center, as well as the twin towers and the Pentagon, as the Bush administration was seeking a justification to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. What started as a small number of such conspiracy theorists has only ballooned into a movement of sorts, largely fed by Internet sites that promote the theories.

“Seven World Trade Center is one of the key points of evidence, one of the smoking guns,” said Richard Gage, a California architect who leader a group called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. “There have been much hotter, longer lasting and larger fires in skyscrapers that have not fallen down.”

The investigators said that if the city water main had not been broken during the collapse of the twin towers, the sprinkler system would likely have put out the fires at 7 World Trade Center, and the building would not have fallen.

The engineers also examined whether diesel fuel tanks in the building — to power the Giuliani administration’s emergency operations center and other government offices — might have been a fuel source that caused the collapse. The investigators determined, based in part on computer models and videos of smoke coming from the tower, that the heat generated from any fuel-fed fires would not have been enough to cause the collapse.

Dr. Sunder said the investigation pointed to how expansion that can occur in steel as it heats up in a fire needs to be considered to prevent skyscraper collapses.

“Our take-home message today is the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” Dr. Sunder said. “It did not collapse from explosives or fuel oil fires.”

Truthers can download and dissect the report here, if they are so inclined.

RSS icon Comments


Well, gee, that's certainly going to shut up those who peddle ridiculous, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories all day.

Posted by tsm | August 21, 2008 1:41 PM

I'm conspiring to conspire a conspiracy.

Posted by i hate keshmeshi club USA | August 21, 2008 1:44 PM

So, just to clarify; We build buildings in the middle of our cities that rise hundreds and thousands of feet, and they can collapse catastrophically when there's a fire?

I thought that only happened when a plane shakes the fire-proofing off. But, Oh well, I guess I better take the NIST's word for it. I'm off to Wal-Mart.

Posted by Will | August 21, 2008 1:45 PM

That just what I'd expect them to say.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | August 21, 2008 1:46 PM

This just proves it harder.

Posted by Ziggity | August 21, 2008 1:49 PM

"city fire department, devastated by the collapse of the twin towers, abandoned its efforts to extinguish the fire"

I didn't realize they'd sorta just, you know, threw their hands up in the air and called it a day.

But I suppose I could see was probably pretty dangerous to get to.

Posted by Non | August 21, 2008 1:55 PM

This is why many buildings don't have a thirteenth floor.

Posted by Chris | August 21, 2008 1:59 PM

QED, truther jackasses.

Posted by Greg | August 21, 2008 2:06 PM

Doesn't this concern anyone else? Skyscrapers can collapse from plain old fire...

We're going through all these security measures at airports, and it turns out that all that is needed to destroy a skyscraper is a couple cans of gasoline. What did they connect those girders with, solder?

Posted by Will | August 21, 2008 2:10 PM

Glad to see the SuperEngineers are here. Couple of cans of gasoline, right, that's an accurate summation of 9/11.

I have a extensive series of calculations that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that WTC 7 was toppled by an ALBINO TIGER ATTACK.

Posted by Fnarf | August 21, 2008 2:14 PM

Fnarf, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. I never pushed forward a theory, I'm just saying that the notion of fire taking down a building like that is ridiculous. Cut the sarcasm. Just because you have no argument to make is not an excuse to act all aloof and superior.

Posted by Wil | August 21, 2008 2:21 PM

@6 - It's hard to fight a fire when you're dead.

@11 - Fires are hot. Heat significantly weakens steel (even if it doesn't melt it). What about that is so difficult for Truthers to grasp?

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 21, 2008 2:25 PM

All government "scientific" agencies are mouthpieces of the government and no more. The EPA, NIST, USGS, NOAA, all of them are money sinks designed to get the public to buy into the government's latest method to make the rich richer and encourage our pagan lifestyle. As the government becomes more anti-christian under the influence of the athiests and child molesters, this country will sink further into economic turmoil and sodomy as God is forced to punish us for our sins. It's far past time to kick the athiests and zoophiles out of our government and get God back into the lives of the common citizen. It is America's only hope. The government can try to cover up the wrath of God by paying "scientists" to parrot the proper line, but the truth cannot be stopped. Pray.

Posted by faith | August 21, 2008 2:30 PM

All good Truthers will tell you that when it comes to a conspiracy, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Which just proves they're at least the equal of the people in charge when it comes to delusions.

Posted by Reality is strange enough | August 21, 2008 2:35 PM

...tell ya what, go break your arm (compound fracture preferably) and see how well your faith and prayers do in healing it. We look forward to hearing back on from you on that.

Believe it or not, many non-crazy religious types are perfectly willing to accept the notion that God (tm) gave us the brains to figure out and use science.

(I retract all of this post if "faith" was being ironic, by the way).

Posted by Mr. X | August 21, 2008 2:37 PM

@6 Please don't be an asshat. They didn't "just, you know, throw their hands up in the air and call it a day." They were facing 343 missing or dead colleagues. The two largest buildings in NYC (among others) had just collapsed and the whole area was pure wreckage. Infrastructure was not working and there were thousands of terrified people running through the streets.

The words "never forget" are tossed about pretty casually now, but lest you do:

Posted by Al | August 21, 2008 2:45 PM

Ok, sure. A fire brings down a 50 story building in the same orderly fashion that trained demolition engineers spend weeks working on planning and execution to get right. Call me skeptical or looney, whatever, but this explanation falls a little short of being convincing.
One minute youtube of two burning steel frame buildings (one being the WTC 7), with results:

Draw your own conclusions. Annie, I hope they teach something about the nature of evidence and expert witnesses at UC Law.

Posted by Mark Centz | August 21, 2008 2:46 PM

I'd be interested in knowing who was employed (and by who) to really build and fan up the flames by using the term "truther", so it immediately registers as "crackpot".

I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about 9/11, though I do find (rationally written, non-hyperbolic) theories about it interesting to read and ponder. And frankly, anybody who at this point can look at everything that's been well documented and reported, and still be convinced that all of the events of that day - from start to finish - went down EXACTLY the way we've been told they did is a good little sheep indeed.

I don't know the answer. But neither do the "anti-truthers". And THAT is the truth.

Posted by Boom Boom (and Boom?) | August 21, 2008 2:48 PM

Gee, if only there were any other contributory factors besides the fire? Excuse me, fires -- at least ten of them. But no -- Youtube clips are definitive. Stupid asshole engineers studying the problem for years, they don't know anything. Look at Youtube.

Annie, I hope UC teaches you how you shred this kind of idiot conspiracy loon into a million pieces even better than you already can.

Posted by Fnarf | August 21, 2008 2:53 PM

@17: The two buildings aren't the same structure, placed under the same strain.

Posted by Jasen Comstock | August 21, 2008 3:00 PM

@19 - Please point us to that well-documented, massive list of buildings that have collapsed due to fire.

If you're having trouble locating it, it should be right next to those files showing that other dogs go after people just as much as pitbulls do. You know - that "special" file drawer.

Posted by Burn baby, burn | August 21, 2008 3:14 PM

God, those WTC7 "truthers" are so fucking stupid it's painful. The fact that people are so easily manipulated is depressing like nothing else.

Posted by ibc | August 21, 2008 3:23 PM

You know they are going to record the date, time, and IP address of every download of that report don't you? Do you really think your ISP will not tell them they dynamic address they gave you at that moment in time? I guess you could make it easy for them and download it through one of the NSA's many free anonymozers, huh? Yeah, do that, genius.

Well, hell, if it is in PDF then Adobe already has everything there is to know about you the second you view it. But Adobe won't let the spooks look at their database, right? Right? Sure. Don't worry.

Posted by elenchos | August 21, 2008 3:37 PM

“Our take-home message today is the reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” Dr. Sunder said. “It did not collapse from explosives or fuel oil fires.”

They ARBITRARILY ruled out explosives to start with and didn't even look into the possibility. This, despite the fact of exotic accelerant evidence of thermite.

These were office fires that burned no longer than 20 minutes in any given area according to NIST. Not only download the report but read it.

"The team said that the smallest blast event capable of crippling the critical column would have produced a “sound level of 130 to 140 decibels at a distance of half a mile,” yet no noise this loud was reported by witnesses or recorded on videos."... um ok
and countless others

For those of you keeping score, NIST has gone from "the colums were melted", to "the columns were softened" to "the colums thermally expanded".

Would love for the opportunity to present the Sloggers info from some of Seattles Architects, Engineers and Firefighters...err... We Are Changers...Truthers.

Posted by Bald Face Lie | August 21, 2008 3:49 PM

Inappropriate Capitalization Of The Initial Letters In Words In Sentences Is Infallible Kook Sign. Bing Bong!

Posted by Fnarf | August 21, 2008 4:00 PM

"Fires are hot. Heat significantly weakens steel (even if it doesn't melt it). What about that is so difficult for Truthers to grasp?"

What temperatures did the steel reach according to NIST?

What temperatures does steel weaken?

Go to slide 47 for building 7

Posted by Bald Face Lie | August 21, 2008 4:08 PM

will @9 and @11 cracks me up!

@9 it turns out that all that is needed to destroy a skyscraper is a couple cans of gasoline.

@11 you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. I never pushed forward a theory... Cut the sarcasm.

that's beautiful!

Posted by infrequent | August 21, 2008 4:16 PM

Hey, thruthers, I got a question for ya. Why would the government want to blow up building 7? Seems kinda petty.

Posted by Slim | August 21, 2008 4:17 PM

Here's what I don't get about you 9-11 truthers - why do all your ideas suck so much?

If I was a truther, I could pull some much better conspiracy theories out of my ass than you have. I might even be able to come up with some evidence that doesn't consist of crappy videos on youtube. But you guys don't seem to have interest in theories that have any sort of plausibility.

Believing in something crazy just makes you feel like a special snowflake.

Posted by Ashley | August 21, 2008 4:27 PM

Fnarf, that is almost always true. As a counterexample, let me present one BrianM, master mechanic and moderator at BrianM follows the same capitalization rules as Benjamin Franklin, as far as I can tell. Yet he is no kook. In point of fact, he is never wrong about motorcycles, to the best of my knowledge.

That Bald Face Lie dude is a hoot though.

(Confidential to DHS: You think I didn't notice that my last post was Number 23? Oh, I noticed, fuckers. I did INDEED notice. For all the good it will do you...)

Posted by elenchos | August 21, 2008 4:29 PM

Slim, before we start taking wild guesses, let's go back to BFL's questions.

Can somenoe cite a reference for the temperature at which steel weakens significantly?

Can someone find out what temperature NIST says the steel in WTC7 reached?

Posted by Phil M | August 21, 2008 4:29 PM

Here, I'll start:

From NIST's "Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation":

How hot did WTC 7’s steel columns and floor beams get?

Due to the effectiveness of the spray-applied fire-resistive material (SFRM) or fireproofing, the highest steel column temperatures in WTC 7 only reached an estimated 300 degrees C (570 degrees F), and only on the east side of the building did the steel floor beams exceed 600 degrees C (1,100 degrees F). However, fire-induced buckling of floor beams and damage to connections—that caused buckling of a critical column initiating collapse—occurred at temperatures below approximately 400 degrees C where thermal expansion dominates. Above 600 degrees C (1,100 degrees F), there is significant loss of steel strength and stiffness. In the WTC 7 collapse, the loss of steel strength or stiffness was not as important as the thermal expansion of steel structures caused by heat.

Posted by Phil M | August 21, 2008 4:33 PM

@26: Your slideshow is a fucking crackup. First they talk for pages about molten metal being found in the wreckage of the building, as if that's evidence of something important. Like what? Thermite? Then, a few slides later, it claims that the official reports "omit any mention of the large quantities of molten metal observed in the basement areas of the twin towers and WTC-7."

Fucking dumbasses! Slide 116 of their own slideshow quotes the 9/11 Commission Report, talking about the molten metal found in the basement areas of the twin towers. That kind of laziness, idiocy, or perhaps deliberate mischaracterization is EXACTLY why no one takes you seriously.

Posted by Greg | August 21, 2008 4:51 PM

Your all wrong. The disappearance of the towers can be directly attributed to DAVID COPPERFIELD. There's also a "hot steel" joke in there somewhere, but YOU fish around for it.

Seriously Truthers, stop. You're annoying your grandkids. It's bad enough you've already got them thinking that Pearl Harbor was an inside job.

Posted by Dougsf | August 21, 2008 5:17 PM

Greg, I can't explain the apparent mistake in that slideshow that you described, but the 9/11 Commission Report (PDF 7.3MB) does not include the word "molten".

And on page 130 of the AE911 slide show, after all the information about the molten metal that was found, you'll see video of John Gross, Lead Engineer of the NIST Report, denying that he's ever heard of any such thing.

Posted by Phil M | August 21, 2008 5:25 PM
Posted by Phil M | August 21, 2008 5:32 PM

Also, note that as reported by Peter Tatchel of The Guardian on September 12 2007, chair and vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have since stated that they were "set up to fail" and were starved of funds to do a proper investigation. They also confirm that they were denied access to the truth and misled by senior officials in the Pentagon and the federal aviation authority; and that this obstruction and deception led them to contemplate slapping officials with criminal charges. Also note that despite the many public statements by 9/11 commissioners and staff members acknowledging they were repeatedly lied to, not a single person has ever been charged, tried, or even reprimanded, for lying to the 9/11 Commission.

The final report did not examine key evidence, and neglected serious anomalies in the various accounts of what happened. The commissioners admit their report was incomplete and flawed, and that many questions about the disaster remain unanswered. Despite these unanswered questions, the 9/11 Commission was closed down on August 21, 2004.

But the Bush administration has otherwise been quite trustworthy, so this is probably just a bunch of rubbish.

Posted by Phil M | August 21, 2008 6:00 PM

I love how easy it is to stir up the truthers and get 'em coming out en masse. Yes, yes, @ 18, writers from the Stranger have been employed by the massively competent government to label and discredit you. Otherwise, we would all know the truth!

I'm especially enjoying the incongruous Christian concerned about all the athiests and child molesters and zoophiles running the government. Wowie, you guys are a diverse bunch indeed!

Posted by switzerblog | August 21, 2008 9:21 PM

@38 - Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Posted by Frequently amused, never disappointed | August 22, 2008 7:51 AM

Truthers make me hope that the terrorists win, and that our STUPID STUPID species obliterates itself with a quickness. Dumbfuck naked monkeys tottering around with a bucket of apparently useless gray goo in our skulls, destroying everything in our path, socially incapable of living up to our biological potential.

I need more coffee.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | August 22, 2008 1:33 PM

Want to know how religion starts and is cultivated, leading to the downfall of humanity? Just look at the truthers. They're already amassing their own holy texts and nothing will persuade them otherwise that those texts are anything but infallible.

Would make a very interesting case study.

Posted by Donolectic | August 22, 2008 2:01 PM

Is the problem here that people are not interested in finding out what happened, or that they are afraid to do so? I mean, we know the investigation was a whitewash, right? Especially now that the people in charge of the investigation have said it was inadequate, right? We know that the people who told us what happened within a few hours of the disaster have lied to us repeatedly about other things, right?

Why are people here so eager to believe the Bush administration on this topic, and so defensive when anyone suggests that the Bush administration might have lied to us about 9/11 like they lied to us about everything else?

Posted by Phil M | August 22, 2008 2:03 PM

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