Report: Towers collapse shocks engineers
Posted on Tuesday, September 11 @ 22:47:59 CEST by webmaster
DETROIT, Sept. 11 (UPI) --
Architects that designed New York's World Trade
Center Towers expressed shock Tuesday that the 110-story landmarks in
Lower Manhattan collapsed after each tower was struck by a hijacked
The World Trade Center was completed in 1976 at a cost of $350 million
and one of the towers had survived a 1993 attack by terrorists in an
explosives-filled van that killed six people and injured more than
Lee Robertson, the project's structural
engineer, addressed the problem of terrorism on high-rises at a
conference in Frankfurt, Germany, last week, Chicago engineer Joseph
Burns told the Chicago Tribune.
Burns said Robertson told the conference, "I
designed it for a (Boeing) 707 to hit it." "Fire melts steel," Burns
told the Tribune, speculating that the impact from the planes had
damaged sprinkler systems in both towers.
"You never know in an explosion like that
whether they get cut off," Burns said. The World Trade Center was
designed by architect Minour Yamasaki, whose Rochester Hills, Mich.,
firm, Minoru Yamasaki and Associates, is known for its sweeping use of
Yamasaki, who died in 1986, also designed the
McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University, the
Reynolds Aluminum building in Southfield, Mich., and the 30-story
Consolidated Gas Co. Building in downtown Detroit.
Terrorists who carried out the 1993 attack on
the symbol of America's financial prowess said they had wanted to bring
the New York tower to the ground. Near Washington, part of the 6.5
million-square-foot Pentagon collapsed after the nerve center of U.S.
military forces was hit by a plane, causing a huge fire.
High rises, office buildings, courts, city
halls, museums, sports stadiums and other public buildings were closed
coast-to-coast as a precaution. The Mall of America in Bloomington,
Minn., the largest shopping mall in the United States, was evacuated
after the morning attacks.
"While we have not received any threats we
believe this is a prudent precaution," said Maureen Bausch, vice
president of marketing and business development.
The Fitzgerald Theater in Minneapolis canceled a
Talking Volumes Book Club event featuring author Salmon Rushdie.
Rushdie, who was marked for death by Islamic fundamentalists several
years ago, was unable to travel because of the nationwide ground stop
that halted commercial air traffic ordered by the Federal Aviation