9-11 "Changed Everything", Including the Laws of Physics
|Within 10 seconds of the onset of its destruction -- when none of the rubble had yet reached the ground -- most of the South Tower was already reduced to dust and shredded steel.|
When WTC 2 disintegrated into an exploding cloud of dust, obliterating 1000 vertical feet of intact structure from top to bottom almost as quickly as a rock would fall the distance, the news anchors were ready with a word to describe the phenomenon: collapse. To wit -- the Towers fell down and crushed themselves. Never mind that no steel-framed skyscraper had ever totally collapsed of its own weight due to any cause or combination of causes -- be they bombings, severe fires, earthquakes, or hurricanes -- other than controlled demolition. Never mind that the precipitous, explosive, and symmetric disintegration of the Tower didn't look anything like such a building would look if it could collapse due to collision- and fire-induced structural failure. The shock of the novelty of the attack itself could be relied on to suspend the disbelief of nearly everyone watching. The CBS anchor describing the South Tower collapse footage recorded just a few minutes earlier seems incredulous at the speed and completeness of the collapse but unquestioningly blames gravity for the destruction.
By the time WTC 1 disintegrated, 27 minutes after WTC 2 did, the collapse of skyscrapers hit by planes had become inevitable. This was reinforced by the repeated reference to the 767-200s as "jumbo jets" -- even though they are less than half the size of a 747 -- and repeated assertions that no one had ever anticipated fuel-laden jets crashing into buildings -- when in fact the building designers had contemplated just that scenario.
Later that day not even plane impacts were necessary to level skyscrapers -- as simply being in the vicinity of the World Trade Center was sufficient to level Building 7.