Manhattan Burns

The Collapse of the Twin Towers: Structural Reasons

Ricardo Aroca 

Robert Clark-Aurora for Time

From high up Tower 1, at floor 100 or so, appeared a dense cloud of smoke, and as the 3 o’clock Spanish newswas saying that no one knew what was happening, a twinengined jet (the newscaster called it a light aircraft) hit the south facade of Tower 2, at floor 80 or so, penetrating perfectly.

Miraculously both buildings remained upright, but almost an hour after this second collision, the upper part of Tower 2 was leaning ever so slightly, to subsequently come down, crumbling completely. Half an hour passed and it was Tower 1’s turn to collapse, disintegrating in such away that the great antenna of its roofcame sinking majestically in a vertical position, recalling, inversely, the image of a satellite launching. Seven hours later, Building 7 – of “only 40 floors”, the only one of the World Trade Center’s lower members not to be crushed by the debris of the twin towers – succumbed to the same fate... [+]

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