Collapse of 7 World Trade Center Concerns Engineers

Although the fate of 7 World Trade Center was overshadowed by the destruction caused by the twin towers, building professionals are now suggesting that the specific circumstances behind the collapse of the 2 million-square-foot office building may be a matter of concern.

12/03/2001


Although the fate of 7 World Trade Center was overshadowed by the destruction caused by the twin towers, building professionals are now suggesting that the specific circumstances behind the collapse of the 2 million-square-foot office building may be a matter of concern.

Engineers now suspect that stored diesel fuel for emergency generators in the building may have helped the initial fires—ignited by debris from the twin towers—run their destructive course.

"Even though Building 7 didn't get much attention in the media immediately, within the structural engineering community, it's considered to be much more important to understand," said William F. Baker, an engineer with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago, as quoted in the New York Times.

Inside the building were emergency generators connected to five separate tanks that held a total of 42,000 gallons of diesel fuel. If engineers' fears are confirmed, the fuel contributed to the collapse of the building and the total structural damage to the building may have been beyond what was ever envisioned by fire codes.





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