News & Politics

Hey Buddy: What Brought WTC7 Down?


Of the many mysteries surrounding 9-11, few have been of as much interest to as broad a range of people as the fate of World Trade Center 7, the 47-story office building that was the last to fall and appears to have been the first steel-framed skyscraper to collapse due solely to fire. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which this fall issued its final report on what happened to the Twin Towers, was supposed to report on WTC 7 at the same time. But that got pushed to December, then to this spring, and lately to the end of 2006. Now, NIST is soliciting a contractor to try to come up with the best explanation for why the building came down.

NIST announced the move in a draft solicitation earlier this month. A formal bid is being prepared. Michael Newman, NIST spokesman, says the contractor will “determine the
most likely scenario for the initiating event of the WTC 7 collapse and provide the global analysis of the collapse (i.e. the response of the whole building to the initiating event).”

The draft solicitation says NIST will consider the “possibility of any other events that may have occurred that day.” This is a red flag to people who harbor alternative theories of what 9-11 was all about. WTC7, which housed offices for the CIA and the Office of Emergency Management, is central to the notion that the buildings at Ground Zero were brought down by planned demolitions, partly because film of the collapse shows a sudden, implosion-like demise.

The Voice asked NIST what it meant by “other scenarios.” Its answer:

The contractor will look at up to 20 possible scenarios for the initiating event of the WTC 7 collapse. In collaboration with the NIST WTC 7 team, the contractor will reduce this number to no more than 5 scenarios deemed most likely to be correct and then focus its modeling on these five to eventually determine the single most likely scenario.


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