Fires in the Rubble Persisted for Months
Fires continued to burn far down in the rubble piles for over 100 days after the attack, despite the spraying of water on the rubble for extended periods. 1 The temperatures inside the rubble piles can only be estimated.
One source of data is a thermal map of Ground Zero created from infrared data collected by a NASA plane that overflew the site on September 16. The map, created by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows hot spots on the surface of the rubble that were above 700ēCelsius. 2 3 After five days of cooling and despite being sprayed with water, they were still above the melting point of aluminum. The temperatures deep in the rubble pile, and their decline over time, can only be guessed. People living and working around the World Trade Center site, and for considerable distances downwind, had to cope with toxic odors for weeks after the attack.
Reports of Molten Metal
Reports of molten metal in the foundations of the Twin Towers and Building 7 have been noted in the literature of skeptics of the official account of the building collapses. None of the official government reports have commented on these reports, although FEMA's Report contained an appendix disclosing evidence of mysterious high temperature corrosion of steel due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.
2. Images of the World Trade Center Site Show Thermal Hot Spots on September 16 and 23, 2001., USGS.gov, 11/2/01 [cached]
3. Images of the World Trade Center Site Show Thermal Hot Spots on September 16 and 23, 2001, USGS.gov, [cached]