WTC Janitor Survives Basement Blast - Blows 911 Stor

Discussion in 'Tin Foil Hat Lounge' started by melbo, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    WTC Basement Blast And Injured Burn Victim Blows 'Official 9/11 Story' Sky High; Eye Witness Testimony Is Conclusive That North Tower Collapsed From Controlled Demolition

    WTC janitor pulls burn victim to safety after basement explosion rocks north tower seconds before jetliner hit top floors. Also, two other men trapped and drowning in a basement elevator shaft, were also pulled to safety from underground explosion..
    June 24, 2005

    By Greg Szymanski

    What happened to William Rodriguez the morning of 9/11 is a miracle. What happened to his story after-the-fact is a tragedy.

    But with miracles and tragedies comes truth. And truth is exactly what Rodriguez brings to the whole mystery surrounding 9/11.

    Declared a hero for saving numerous lives at Ground Zero, he was the janitor on duty the morning of 9/11 who heard and felt explosions rock the basement sub-levels of the north tower just seconds before the jetliner struck the top floors.

    He not only claims he felt explosions coming from below the first sub-level while working in the basement, he says the walls were cracking around him and he pulled a man to safety by the name of Felipe David, who was severely burned from the basement explosions.

    All these events occurred only seconds before and during the jetliner strike above. And through it all, he now asks a simple question everybody should be asking? How could a jetliner hit 90 floors above and burn a man’s arms and face to a crisp in the basement below within seconds of impact?

    Rodriguez claims this was impossible and clearly demonstrates a controlled demolition brought down the WTC, saying "Let’s see them (the government) try to wiggle out of this one."

    Well, they haven’t wiggled out of it because the government continues to act like Rodriguez doesn’t exist, basically ignoring his statements and the fact he rescued a man burnt and bleeding from the basement explosions.

    His eye witness account, ignored by the media and the government, points the finger squarely on an official cover-up at the highest levels since the government contends the WTC fell only from burning jet fuel. And after listening to Rodriguez, it’s easy to see why the Bush administration wants him kept quiet.

    Bush wants him quiet because Rodriguez’s account is ‘proof positive’ the WTC was brought down by a controlled demolition, not burning jet fuel. And Bush knows if he’s caught lying about this or caught in a cover-up, it’s just a matter of time before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

    In fact, Rodriguez’s story is so damaging – so damning – it literally blows the lid off the government story, literally exposing the whole 9/11 investigation as a sham and a cover-up of the worst kind.

    And it appears the cover-up also extends to the media.

    NBC news knew about his story several years ago, even spending a full day at his house taping his comments. But when push came to shove, his story was never aired. Why?

    His eyewitness account, backed up by at least 14 people at the scene with him, isn’t speculation or conjecture. It isn’t a story that takes a network out on a journalistic limb. It’s a story that can be backed up, a story that can be verified with hospital records and testimony from many others.

    It’s a story about 14 people who felt and heard the same explosion and even saw Rodriguez, moments after the airplane hit, take David to safety, after he was burnt so bad from the basement explosion flesh was hanging from his face and both arms

    So why didn’t NBC or any other major news outlets cover the story? They didn’t run it because it shot the government story to hell and back. They didn’t run it because "the powers that be" wouldn’t allow it.

    Since 9/11, Rodriguez has stuck to his guns, never wavering from what he said from day one. Left homeless at times, warned to keep quiet and subtly harassed, he nevertheless has continued trying to tell get his message out in the face of a country not willing to listen.

    Here is his story:

    The Miracle

    It’s a miracle Rodriguez, 44, who worked at the WTC for 20 years, is even alive. Usually arriving to work at 8:00am, the morning of 9/11 he reported 30 minutes late. If he’d arrived on time, it would have put him at the top floors just about the same time the jetliner hit the north tower.

    "It was a miracle. If I arrived on time, like always, I’d probably be dead. I would have been up at the top floors like every morning," said Rodriguez about the quirk of fate that saved his life.

    But since he was late, Rodriguez found himself checking into work in an office on sub-level 1 when the north tower was hit, seemingly out of harms way. However, the sound and concussion of a massive explosion in the sub-levels right below his feet changed that.

    "When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and it everything started shaking," said Rodriguez, who was huddled together with at least 14 other people in the office.

    Rodriguez said Anthony Saltamachia, supervisor for the American Maintenance Co., was one of the people in the room who stands ready to verify his story.

    "Seconds after the first massive explosion below in the basement still rattled the floor, I hear another explosion from way above," said Rodriguez. "Although I was unaware at the time, this was the airplane hitting the tower, it occurred moments after the first explosion."

    But before Rodriguez had time to think, co-worker Felipe David stormed into the basement office with severe burns on his face and arms, screaming for help and yelling "explosion! explosion! explosion!"

    David had been in front of a nearby freight elevator on sub-level 1 about 400 feet from the office when fire burst out of the elevator shaft, causing his injuries.

    "He was burned terribly," said Rodriguez. "The skin was hanging off his hands and arms. His injuries couldn’t have come from the airplane above, but only from a massive explosion below. I don’t care what the government says, what scientists say. I saw a man burned terribly from a fire that was caused from an explosion below.

    "I know there were explosives placed below the trade center. I helped a man to safety who is living proof, living proof the government story is a lie and a cover-up.

    "I have tried to tell my story to everybody, but nobody wants to listen. It is very strange what is going on here in supposedly the most democratic country in the world. In my home country of Puerto Rico and all the other Latin American countries, I have been allowed to tell my story uncensored. But here, I can’t even say a word."

    After Rodriguez escorted David to safety outside the WTC, he returned to lead the others in the basement to safety as well. While there, he also helped two other men trapped and drowning in the basement elevator shaft, another result he says of the explosives placed below the tower.

    In fact, after leading these men to safety, he even made another trip back into the north tower, against police orders, in order to rescue people from the top floors.

    "I never could make it to the top, but I got up to the 33rd floor after getting some of my equipment and a face mask out of the janitor’s closet," said Rodriguez, adding he heard a series of small explosions going off between the 20th and 30th floors, unrelated to the airplane strike, while making his way through the stairwell to the top floors.

    "Also, when I was on the 33rd floor, I heard strange sounds coming form the 34th floor, loud noises like someone moving and thumping heavy equipment and furniture. I knew this floor was empty and stripped due to construction work so I avoided it and continued to make my way up the stairs."

    Rodriguez said he finally reached the 39th floor before being turned back by fire fighters and then, reluctantly, started his descent back down and his own flight to safety while, at the same time, hearing explosions coming from the South Tower.

    The Tragedy

    The concerted effort by the media and the government to silence Rodriguez is the tragedy behind this American hero’s story. And there is no question, Rodriguez is a "silent hero" for saving so many lives and for having the courage to continue telling his story against tremendous odds.

    In an effort to open a fair and honest investigation as to why the WTC collapsed, Rodriguez has been ignored by government officials, the 9/11 Commission and the National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST).

    NIST, an independent investigative group funded by the government, put the finishing touches this week on its 2 year $35 million 9/11 investigation. This week Rodriguez made his final plea to have his story heard while testifying at the final public hearing held in New York.

    " I disagree 100%with the government story," said Rodriguez. "I met with the 9/11 Commission behind closed doors and they essentially discounted everything I said regarding the use of explosives to bring down the north tower.

    "And I contacted NIST previously four times without a response. Finally, this week I asked them before they came up with their conclusion that jet fuel brought down the towers, if they ever considered my statements or the statements of any of the other survivors who heard the explosions. They just stared at me with blank faces and didn’t have any answers.

    "Also, The FBI never followed up on my claims or on the other part of my story when I told them before 9/11, I encountered one of the hijackers casing the north tower."

    Besides the explosions, Rodriguez also has provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission that he stumbled across one of the supposed 19 Arab hijackers inside the WTC several months before 9/11

    "I had just finished cleaning the bathroom and this guy asks me, 'Excuse me, how many public bathrooms are in this area?'" Rodriguez told the 9/11 Commission. "Coming from the school of the 1993 [Trade Center] bombing, I found it very strange. I didn't forget about it"

    Rodriguez, claims he saw United Airlines Flight 175 hijacker Mohand Alshehri in June 2001, telling an FBI agent about the incident a month after the attacks. Never hearing back from the bureau, he later learned agents never followed up on the story.

    "I'm very certain, I'll give it 90%" that Alshehri was casing the towers before the attacks," said Rodriguez.

    Regarding the media’s apathetic approach to his story, Rodriguez said immediately after 9/11 some newspapers picked it up but his words were never taken seriously and quickly forgotten.

    "During the 9/11 hearings, NBC brought a crew out to my house and spent a day taping my story but they never did air a word of it," said Rodriguez. "Since then, some reporters and commentators have subtly warned me to keep quiet, told me my life could be in jeopardy and warned me that I really didn’t understand who I was dealing with.

    "I have been receiving this type of subtle harassment for years, but I keep telling everybody I can’t be intimidated because I am on a mission. Whenever someone asks why I keep talking or warns me that I could be killed, I just tell them I have nothing to lose.

    "I tell them I lost 200 friends and I am their voice now. I tell them I will do everything in my power to find out the truth since I am living on borrowed time since I probably should be dead anyway."

    Besides trying to tell his explosive story, Rodriguez has been active raising money for 9/11victims, being involved with charity groups that have raised more than $122 million. He says he has used over $60,000 of his own money, originally earmarked to buy a new house, in order to get at the truth behind 9/11.

    Also seeking justice at the highest level, Rodriguez is the lead plaintiff in a federal RICO lawsuit filed against President Bush and others, alleging conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes in the deaths of more than 3,000 at the WTC.

    The case, filed last November in a Philadelphia federal district court, recently was moved to New York in a change of venue after a government’s motion to dismiss was overruled, allowing legal discovery to continue.

    "Even if the case goes no farther, I feel we have scored a victory by winning this first battle," said Rodriguez. "At least the judge seems willing to listen which is a victory of sorts. However, I sincerely hope we can eventually take the case all the way to trial and reveal the truth to the American people about 9/11."
  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well I will start by giveing the binifit of the doubt and stateing that in that high stress of a situation it is very plausable that the impact above may have been first then the explosion below and since the man was by an elivator shaft fuel could have dumped down the shaft and exploded or even that the explosion could have traveled down the shaft faster than the vibrations and sound of the explosion above so the man in the basement being burned in an explosion in and of its self would not disprove anything.
    That said, those towers didnt topple to the side or off in one direction or another like any burning building I have ever seen collapse, instead they came straight down like all the sucessfuly controled demolishions I have seen. I remember on 9-11 when I first saw it thinking it looked just like the demolishions you always see now where they very carefuly bring a building straight down with carefuly placed explosives and later that day at lunch an old demolishion guy stated the same thing, that they didnt come down like any accident but like very carefuly demolished. I suppose if it had only been one of the buildings it could just be a totaly freak thing but for both of them to do it? I have never seen any conclusive evvidense (evidence, not speculation or conjecture) to show who may have put them there but have believed from then to now that those buildings did NOT come down just from the fires or planes. If the had then the sides/corners where the planes hit would have been the weakest and everything above would have fell that way pulling the rest of the building in that direction as well and if the bottom fell it would go in the same direction. I do that with trees all the time and have done the same with small buildings and sheds and such, you knock in from one side and the rest goes to the empty side, not straight down. If they had fallen in a 'natural' way as would be reasonable from the damage to the building they would have toppled off to one side and layed down over a block or more takeing many other buildings to the ground with them, not straight down in a reasonably neat little pile with just some damage to the buildings directly around it.
    Unless the report that claims it was due to the jet fuel and fire also includes the terms 'miricale' and/or 'devine intervention' then yeah would have to say it isnt telling whats known.
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    well untill he's dead the Janitor, nothing will come of this.
  4. Cousin Jack

    Cousin Jack Knifemaker Founding Member


    Okay...Let's say that there were carefully placed explosives in the basement of the WTC. Does that mean that there's a conspiracy...or was it just another facet of the attack that the public at large is ignorant of?
  5. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    I remember the audio tape, supposedly of Bin Laden, talking about the WTC attack, saying it was far more successful than they thought. If they had planted explosives like they did the first time, I think he would have known it would come down.
    The steel girders in the building will carry sound like water. Then the air carries the sound, sounds like two blasts. As for getting burned in the basement, there were 50,000 pounds of JP4 dumped out above. Some went down the elevator shafts, maybe one particular elevator shaft that was open on one of those floors, or a ventilator shaft, and was ignited from above.

    Brokor said he was in the military, quig was, an explosion from HE is dark gray, not a flame blast like Hollywood's gasoline bombs. If the guy was close enough to have been burned by heat from an HE blast, he would not be here today telling his story. Heat is generated, but the major effect is blast. Whatever the effect, the building did not start coming down until the top floors started falling. This was not a controlled blast where you watch the building shudder and start coming down in seconds.

    The bomb was the 50,000 pounds of kerosene.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Definately in the correct sub-forum. :D Ghost is 100% correct about the speed of sound in steel (and concrete.) The speed of sound is highly dependent on the density of the medium it is transmitted thru, the denser the faster.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I concentrate on more factual evidence, like the hundreds of firefighters and their recordings saying the fires were contained or extinguished, the video proof that shows most of the jet fuel being ignited and flying outward away from the towers as the planes collided, the scientific evidence that shows us that steel does not weaken or melt from carbon fires, and jet fuel is not what brought the towers down. One can look at the tapes and see explosions ripping through the towers. Building 7. If any amount of evidence was the preverbial smoking gun, it is building 7 and its collapse even though it was never hit by any debris, fell completely to the ground in about 5 seconds, and it was reinforced as a FEMA bunker and control center for disasters for then Mayor Juliani and the FBI. No steel structure has ever -EVER fallen from fire in the history of the world. Yet in one day, all of Silversteins buildings miraculously were destroyed. Hope he had insurance. Oh wait, he purchased the maximum insurance just prior to 9-11. Whoever was running security for the WTC buildings must have been pissed they were blown up...OH WAIT -it was none other than President Bush's younger brother. That's right a BUSH running security for the WTC buildings, and his last day as head of security? 9-11-2001.

    The evidence goes on and on and on...


    In fact, I urge people to VISIT THIS SITE, and spend a couple hours researching what truly happened that fateful day in September 2001.

    Check this out, too. Bombs going off. Later retracted, of course. ;)
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I dont know that it would prove WHO put them there but surely if it happened that way it should have been in the reports and would have clearly been news worthy yet hasnt come out so I dont know about a consperacey but it seems like a bit of a cover up at least to me.

    I would say this would be the most likely cause of the guy being burned in the basement especialy since it was stated that he was by an elevator shaft.

    Like I said above, just from the footage of the towers comeing down, they came basicly straight down, the sides which would have been most weekened by the impact SHOULD have gone first since they would have had the most energy impact them causeing structural damage and more fuel there burning it. I could easily see the heat from the fire heating the steel to a point of pliability (coal is carbon and yes it will melt steel) allowing it to topple but the tops didnt topple over and take the rest off to the side with them the whole buildings went straight down. While there were not visible expolsions starting from the bottom and going up like there generaly are in the demolishions as the building comeing down it was kind of in reverse and just came down from the top. The heat would have gone up so the structure below should have been minimaly effected by the fire and was built to support the weight above.....
    I just cant comprehend how 2 building both come STRAIGHT down that way rather than breaking over and going to the side especialy with one side haveing significant damage.

    While a lot did fall on the side of impact there was also a fire ball going out the other side, so while there would have been more on the side of impact there was fuel all the way through.

    I've done enouph blacksmithing to know that coal is carbon and with adequate air will liquify steel. Beyond that I have also more than once had my wood stove glowing red from a wood fire even with restricted air (wood also being carbon based) and any time metal is heated to a point of glowing it is weakened and can be much more easily bent and disformed.

    While I agree that I can see no plausable way that the buildings came down IN THE WAY THEY DID from the fires some of the evidence you state to show it is also flawed IMO.

    I could easily see the impact and the fire bringing down the towers, but by all my understanding of science and physics the tops should have crealed to the side, most likely over straining the lower structure and pulling the rest over to the side along with it. If anyone has a better understanding of the science behind it and can explain to me through physics and science how they came down in the way they did I would be very open to it but from what I have learned and seen in the past it just dosnt make sense the WAY they came down.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    You forget MM, although you do have experience in steelwork, we are talking about structural grade steel, not 440 stainless.

    Not to put you down or anything, but structural steel will not even be effected by fire, no matter what. I have dozens of links to steel structures that have burned untouched for days at a time and still stood like giant skeletons in the air. Those buildings were designed to resist fires and even two jumbo jet collisions each.

    Believe me, I know you are right when you say the buildings certainly didn't fall the way they did because of fire. Take a look at the evidence. It's not hard to see what happened here.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Im also not trying to put down you or anyone else Im just looking for someone who can explain away the inconsistanceys on both claims. While I have worked some with stainless I have worked more out of scrap piles that at times included I beam or building gurders, and even the stove example is cast iron and being heated by wood that burns cooler than many other carbon things. Most of the time buildings burning is just that the building materials burning which would be a different thing.
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Yes but you have to research like I did and find out that the builders of the WTC actually used structural steel that doesn't surprisingly melt with a Bic lighter ;P

    The only "myth" is the lie the government is telling us.

    Chin up, MM. You have a good head on your shoulders. You can find answers if you do not become complacent and agree with the "official" story.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Steel glows at about 700 deg F, melts at or slightly above (IIRC) 1700 deg F, and burns rather brightly in oxygen at well under 5200, whcih is the lowest temps used in cutting torches. Jet fuel will easily reach 2500 deg in an unconfined burn, and will weaken steel structures rather rapidly. Note that steel structures used these days, and for the last 30 years or so are required to be coated with fireproofing materials. Said fireproofing does NOT render the steel proof agains fire for a "long time" but does retard heat flow and weakening long enough for fire suppression methods to work and for life safety actions to take place. In the cases mentioned of the structual steels remaining in place, the fires were low grade, meaning not hot enough to weaken the structure enough to collapse. Most building fires are of wood and other more "normal" materials that do NOT burn at a temp high enough to affect the steels significantly. Structural steel, by the way, is A-36 material, which is NOT classed as high strength. Limited exceptions to that last do exist but they are highly specialized constructs. The WTC was normal steels.

    For a detailed discussion on the structural failures that lead to vertical collapse, you can find it easily on google. Or, go to the Engineering News Record website and look around there for a reference to the study and conclusions. Oversimplified somewhat, the fires weakened the structural steels on the affected floors, and the floors then collapsed straight down around the core. Each floor collapsed straight down onto the floor below, and the loading just zippered the lower floors on down to the sub-basement.

    I add (rather gratuitously) that those on the study are beyond reproach from the standpoint of knowlege and honesty. To think that there is a conspiracy involving as many people without a leak as would have to be involved is far beyond the credible.

    Also, rather gratuitously, I add that forensic engineering is a pretty highly evolved branch of study, and does not allow for unsubstantiated guessing, nor does it rely on one man's story of what happened in any given situation. Ask any cop, you'll find that eye witnesses are notoriously unreliable if there is no substantiation. Even more to the point, if the one witnesses tale is countered by physical fact, it is thrown out as unreliable. It does NOT rely on collections of photos and links that purport to portray facts without documentation to go with them. Not saying that such information does not accompany the links, but I would want to see the credentials of those that wrote it.

    Brokor, don't get pissed at this. It is my view, and that is what I intended this to present.
  13. Cousin Jack

    Cousin Jack Knifemaker Founding Member

    Well...actually...1700 deg F is only within the approximate upper critical temp. range for most common carbon steels, being the point where the crystalline structure of steel changes to austenite. The actual melting temp for common carbon steel such as A-36 is around 2600 to 2800 deg. F.

    But I am sure you knew that, and just got your Celsius and Farenheit scales mixed up. ;)
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ghrit, do you have links to the sites that explain how it happened there for it to come straight down? Like I say, I could easily see it bringing them down, it just seams that the one side would be damaged and Im sure you have also felled enouph trees (in a controlled maner) to know how it works when you take a chunk out of one side things fall that direction. Beyond that just that it would seem so unlikely to me that it would heat evenly and so on all the way across to allow it to drop straight down on the lower floors rather than one side going a split second sooner and causeing it to go to that side, especialy since it happened on both. I could well be wrong on it, I just havent found where the details are on how it managed to be so evenly distributed damage as to all fail at the exact same just seems to amazeing to me untill someone can explain it to me. At the very least if not that it was done with other explosions or anything else its just such an amazeing thing for it to have happened by accident twice on the same block in the same day when its such a challenge for experts to do it on purpose that its just intreagueing to me.
    Oh and I could understand other explosions in the building anyway due to gas lines breaiking after the impact, so that could expalin away any honest claims of other explosions alsong with fuel through vents and so on.
  15. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    The design of the World Trade Center saved thousands of lives by standing for well over an hour after the planes crashed into its twin towers, say structural engineers.

    It was the fire that killed the buildings - nothing on Earth could survive those temperatures with that amount of fuel burning

    Structural engineer Chris Wise
    But the towers' ultimate collapse was inevitable, as the steel cores inside them reached temperatures of 800C - raising questions as to why hundreds of rescue workers were sent into the doomed buildings to their deaths.

    The steel and concrete structures performed amazingly well, said John Knapton, professor in structural engineering at Newcastle University, UK.

    "I believe tens of thousands of lives have been saved by the structural integrity of the buildings," he told BBC News Online.

    "They had a lot of their structure taken out, yet they remained intact for more than an hour, allowing thousands to escape."

    Temperatures at 800C

    But as fires raged in the towers, driven by aviation fuel, the steel cores in each building would have eventually reached 800C - hot enough to start buckling and collapsing.

    The protective concrete cladding on the cores would have been no permanent defence in these extraordinary circumstances - keeping the intense heat at bay for only a limited timespan.

    Nothing is designed or will be designed to withstand that fire

    World Trade Center construction manager
    "It was the fire that killed the buildings. There's nothing on earth that could survive those temperatures with that amount of fuel burning," said structural engineer Chris Wise.

    "The columns would have melted, the floors would have melted and eventually they would have collapsed one on top of each other."

    The buildings' construction manager, Hyman Brown, agreed that nothing could have saved them from the inferno.

    "The buildings would have stood had a plane or a force caused by a plane smashed into it," he said.

    I would have given the order to get out - you would have thought someone with technical expertise would have been advising them

    Professor John Knapton, Newcastle University
    "But steel melts, and 24,000 gallons (91,000 litres) of aviation fluid melted the steel. Nothing is designed or will be designed to withstand that fire."

    Once the steel frame on one floor had melted, it collapsed downwards, inflicting massive forces on the already-weakened floor below.

    Science of collapse

    From then on, the collapse became inevitable, as each new falling floor added to the downward forces.

    Further down the building, even steel at normal temperatures gave way under the enormous weight - an estimated 100,000 tonnes from the upper floors alone.

    "It was as if the top of the building was acting like a huge pile-driver, crashing down on to the floors underneath," said Chris Wise.

    Early in the unfolding horror, some office workers were told to stay where they were - dreadful advice, said Professor Knapton.

    The towers withstood impact but not inferno

    People's only hope was to run and keep running - reaching open ground. The building could have fallen over sideways, he points out, potentially bringing even greater devastation. [​IMG]

    Other buildings - including the 47-storey Salomon Brothers building - caved in later, weakened by the earlier collapses, and more nearby buildings may still fall, say engineers.

    But the eventual collapse of the twin towers was so predictable that the order should have been given to withdraw emergency services within an hour, said Professor Knapton. He watched in horror, knowing the building would fall within two hours.

    The hundreds of dead firemen and police officers should simply not have been there, he said.

    "I think they should not have gone in at all," he said. "If they did decide to take the risk, they should have been pulled out after an hour."

    But in the panic and horror, the order was never given for rescue workers to abandon the building. "Mistakes were made," said Professor Knapton.

    It was like a horror film and I think people's rationale had gone

    Professor John Knapton
    "It sounds harsh - this had never happened in the world, so you can hardly criticise them.

    "But I would have given the order to get out. You would have thought someone with technical expertise would have been advising them."

    But he acknowledged that the sheer scale of the tragedy probably overwhelmed the operation commanders.

    "I think everyone was not thinking. It was like a horror film and I think people's rationale had gone," he said.

    Steel-core design

    The building's design was standard in the 1960s, when construction began on what was then the world's tallest building. At the heart of the structure was a vertical steel and concrete core, housing lift shafts and stairwells.

    Steel beams radiate outwards and connect with steel uprights, forming the building's outer wall.

    All the steel was covered in concrete to guarantee firefighters a minimum period of one or two hours in which they could operate - although aviation fuel would have driven the fire to higher-than-normal temperatures. The floors were also concrete.

    The building had to be tough enough to withstand not just the impact of a plane - and the previous bomb attack in 1993 - but also of the enormous structural pressures created by strong winds.

    Newer skyscrapers are constructed using cheaper methods. But this building was magnificent, say experts, in the face of utterly unpredictable disaster.

  16. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  17. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    CNN: When you learned about the airplane hits and saw the pictures, what did you think about the structural soundness of the World Trade Center buildings?

    RITTENHOUSE: When the event first occurred, naturally we all wondered how sound the building would be given the structure. We were concerned about the damage and in getting the people out in time before some type of collapse occurred. Like most people, I did not want to believe that a complete collapse could occur. But these were large bombs, strategically placed -- the bomb being the airplane and the placement being in a vulnerable spot in the building. The port authority has worked to secure the perimeter around the base of the building so the only way to attack the building is at a higher elevation -- such as an air attack.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Can you explain why the buildings collapsed?

    RITTENHOUSE: The exterior structure is comprised of columns. The vertical load bearing members and the horizontal elements called "beams." When the plane impacted the building, it severely damaged those exterior columns. The following fire further damaged the support columns. So it was a two step event; initial damage by plane and further damage or subsequent loss of structural stability that caused the building to fail.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Was it due to the structural engineering that the building collapsed relatively straight down?

    RITTENHOUSE: There are two reasons why it fell straight down. One is the structural engineering --how it was designed. And how it fell is really a phenomenon. The other reason is because the impact zone was so high up in the building that the weight of the uppermost floors fell onto the impact zone. Had the impact zone been lower in the building, the structure may have fallen in a tree-like effect, rather than crushing down on itself.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: I am amazed the buildings didn't collapse immediately when the planes crashed into them. Is this more or less unique for these two buildings?

    RITTENHOUSE: No. They are very big buildings. They were carrying a lot of weight. And so the structure was acting as it was designed. In most buildings, you might be able to lose a column and have the building remain standing for a period of time. But given the structure of these buildings, and that is called a "tube structure," the remaining structural elements were able to carry the load. A tube structure building is like a garbage can, very rigid around the outside but once the damage starts, it is very easy to crush it. And this time that time to crush, that is, the time to achieve structural instability, was about an hour.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Do you think the towers could have withstood the plane crashes if the fire hadn't burned so hot and so long?

    RITTENHOUSE: Very difficult question. I think that if the fireball was not so great, that they could have contained the fire. Fires are meant to be fought in localized areas. In other words, if a fire breaks out in a 15th floor, the sprinklers will go off on the 15th and 16th floors and so on, up the building as required to fight local fire. However in this case, there were fires located on 15 to 20 different floors. So there was never enough water to arrest the fire to prevent structural instability.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: What can you tell us about the escape routes for people in a high rise building such at WTC? How safe is it really to be in the upper levels of such a tall building during an emergency?

    RITTENHOUSE: The emergency egress requirements are well thought out. And every building has an emergency egress plan. The time to egress the WTC, for example, is approximately two hours. And that is why we have requirements to fireproof buildings for one or two hours to allow orderly egress. Had the building collapse occurred two to four hours after the initial event, they would have been able to evacuate everybody.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Are the water systems enough or do we need another fire suppression system in such buildings as well?

    RITTENHOUSE: For a conventional fire, these water systems should be enough. This was not a conventional fire. Other systems have been investigated but have been recalled because of other health risks. So the current water deployment system may be the best we have. Perhaps we need more water.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: How many other buildings may collapse? And do we know yet how many buildings will have to be demolished when all is said and done?

    RITTENHOUSE: It is impossible to know how many buildings will need to be razed rather than rehabilitated. There are engineers from the Structural Engineering Association of New York (SEAONY) as well as other local engineering firms, such as my own, that have volunteered to inspect buildings and determine if they are safe for rescue personnel and subsequent tenants.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: What, specifically, would cause surrounding buildings to collapse?

    RITTENHOUSE: Damage from the various events. Damage from aircraft parts, the fireball explosion, the building falling itself, causing damage to other buildings, the ground shaking, and potentially high winds could now cause other buildings to fall.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Why can't we determine if more folks are alive within the structure? How long before we get to the folks?

    RITTENHOUSE: It could take a very long time. You have to be concerned about the stability of the neighboring buildings. We don't want them to fall on rescue people. You have to be concerned that removing rubble doesn't collapse on air pockets below where victims might be. You have to be careful that vibrations from machinery do not cause further failures. So many of the rescue efforts are being done by hand and small tools to quickly get to victims.

    In Mexico City, there was once an earthquake where up to eight days later, they found survivors, many of them infants, located in the hospital. So there is a good chance that people who are located may still found, though it is a dim chance. That area of Manhattan has many underground tunnels where people could be. We just need to get to them.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: There must be multiple basements under the towers. Is it possible that people have fallen into the basements with debris on top of them?

    RITTENHOUSE: Yes, there are many utility tunnels, subway tunnels, below grade and several, maybe as many as seven basement levels. So there is a strong possibility that if they can get to them, they will be people there. Unfortunately there is a lot of debris and now water circulating as they fight the fires. So it is possible that these void places where people are located could be filling with water.

    CHAT PARTICIPANT: Tod, I keep looking at ground zero and my mind cannot fathom how two 110-story buildings are reduced to nearly ground level. How is that possible, that such massive buildings are now nearly gone?

    RITTENHOUSE: It's partly because of the type of structure. I'm sure a lot of it has filled the hole that was the basement. It is as surprising to me as well, but had they fallen over, it would have caused greater damage and far many more deaths.

    CNN: Do you have any final thoughts for us today?

    RITTENHOUSE: This has been a terrible tragedy for many many people. I have been pleased at how people have united to help in their own way either rescue workers, or fellow engineers, or individuals who are lining the streets with thank you cards to show appreciation to the rescue workers. I hope that we can rebuild.

    CNN: Thank you for joining us today, Tod Rittenhouse.
  18. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks Quig, that dose make it LESS amazeing with the concrete covered steel core, I would still think it would have crealed before it would go straight down just from more damage or heat at on one area or another, which one of the guys in there even mentioned could easily have happened. I guess its just that in my mind it seems so unlikely that anything else could happen without careful planning and then be repeated within minutes. Would just seem totaly freak, which to me at least would be far easier to accept if it was just one, both just blows my mind that the section above impact didnt creal to one side pulling the rest along with it. Hope I wasnt unclear before, I find no surprise at all that they came down, only in the way that they came down.
  19. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Oh, I am not pissed, bud. I just noticed that the government conveniently had all the steel shipped to a wackenhut secured landfill and stored under dirt and concrete for eternity right after their own "experts" had a look at it.

    That was all I needed to know about the WTC steel.

    By the way, the odds of ONE tower that size collapsing like it did is so astronomical it would fill up pages of paper...let alone all the others which "fell" so picture-perfect like a controlled demolished building. Not to mention again the fact that fire does not make skyscrapers collapse liek they are made from cards and toothpicks.

    I said it once, and I will say it again: the facts do not lie.
  20. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Yeah, the facts don't lie. Unfortunately your conspiracy theory is the one that has no facts to back it up. If you can read all that, and still think it's a government cover-up, you're engaging in selective perception, where you only accept the facts that fit your preconceived notion.
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