Become a mySun member | Login
Search: 
HOME | MARYLAND | NATION/WORLD | BUSINESS | SPORTS | ARTS/LIFE | OPINION | MARKETPLACE
Advertisement
Jet fuel-fed fire may have melted steel in towers
Md. demolition specialist analyzes collapses
 
In Depth

Terror attacks hit London

Hamas case

The 9/11 Commission Report (7 MB pdf)

The 9/11 Commission Report (7 MB pdf)
Jul 22, 2004

Summary of The 9/11 Commission Report (344 KB pdf)
Jul 22, 2004

On The Web

9/11 Commission Web site

In Depth

Afghanistan coverage
Recent stories on Afghanistan by Sun foreign correspondent Douglas Birch.

In Depth
War on Terror coverage
War on Terror
Full coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and the U.S. war against terrorism, including photo galleries, article archives and multimedia.

Photos
War on Terror
World Trade Center
World Trade Center aftermath gallery
World Trade Center destroyed
Ground Zero cleanup ends
Marking 1 year since 9/11
Marking 2 years since 9/11
Views of the 6 WTC Concepts
Artists' visions for WTC site
Pentagon attack
Photos of the missing: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Photos of Maryland victims

Multimedia

Audio clips

Resources
How to help
Maryland's lost
Search for victims
Remember the victims

From The Sun
Sept. 11 front page (684k PDF file)
Sun columnists
Sun editorials
Archive
Photos

World Trade Center light tribute wallpaper for your computer
(Sun photo by John Makely)
Mar 11, 2002

In Depth
Also see
Sun Staff
Originally published September 12, 2001
The upper floors of the World Trade Center's twin towers collapsed and toppled over because both airplane crashes turned the buildings into infernos, according to the head of the Maryland firm that cleaned up the last terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

J. Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition Inc. in Phoenix, said that the large amounts of jet fuel that spilled from both airliners - loaded with enough fuel to fly across the country - probably ignited fires that softened steel supports and caused them to fail.

CDI, a 41-year-old firm known for pioneering the use of explosives in structural demolitions, took down the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after the terrorist bombing in 1995.

The firm also demolished the Kingdome in Seattle and Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, along with several housing projects in Baltimore.

Loizeaux said that skyscrapers are designed to survive plane crashes - and have survived them.

An Army Air Forces B-25 hit the Empire State Building in 1945, killing 14 people.

The twin 110-story towers of the World Trade Center were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s to survive the impact of a crash of a Boeing 707 commercial airliner, Loizeaux said.

And they did survive the initial impacts yesterday, he said.

But the impacts of the planes striking the buildings probably destroyed their fire protection systems, and the heat from the fire softened the towers' steel columns "like a piece of taffy would become soft in the sun," he said.

"They survived the crash, but the damage overloaded the remaining columns, and as the fire burned over time, it heated the remaining columns, making them ductile," he said.

Loizeaux said yesterday that most of his information about the attack was from television news reports, but he said he doesn't believe explosives were detonated after the trade center crashes.

"Based on what I have seen, and the information I have," he said, "this appears to be a reasonable explanation for what happened."


Copyright 2005, The Baltimore Sun | Get home delivery

 






Enter to win tickets to movies, concerts, festivals, sporting events and more.
Learn more about events sponsored by The Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun.com, including the Health & Fitness Expo.
This month's featured section: Maryland Wedding.
Purchase press plates of Sun front pages and logo merchandise.
Become a mySun member | Login
Search: