How many seconds did it take for the twin towers to fall?

How many seconds did it take for the twin towers to fall?

The joints on the most severely burnt levels broke way as the heat of the fire increased, forcing the perimeter wall columns to flex outward and the floors above them to collapse. The buildings fell in 10 seconds, striking the ground at a speed of 200 km/h (Getty Images).

The impact destroyed most of the building's contents and killed between 1,000 and 2,700 people.

After the initial shock of seeing the towers go down came disbelief that such a thing could happen here, in America. Then anger began to boil over. People were furious, livid, disgusted -- and also saddened by the loss of life. As far as anyone could tell, none of the people who died in the attacks was responsible for what had happened.

But some people took this opportunity to harm others. A man named John I. Gotti became the head of his family's crime syndicate after his father was convicted on racketeering charges. Under John Gotti, the family business grew into one of the largest criminal organizations in U.S. history. Gotti hired young, aggressive men to be his "soldiers" and set up "sting operations" where they would trap other criminals. He also ordered several murders, including that of a rival gang leader named Frank Lucas. In 2002, Gotti was convicted on multiple counts of murder and other crimes and sentenced to death.

Why did the towers fall?

The fires were judged to be the primary cause of the collapses, with sagging floors pulling inward on the surrounding columns, causing them to bow and ultimately buckle. A total progressive collapse was unavoidable as the upper portion of the structure began to slide downhill. Although not widely accepted at first, this theory has since been supported by many experts.

Another factor contributing to the collapses may have been related to explosives that some researchers believe were used to bring the buildings down. Some engineers and scientists believe that the fires were too intense for so long a period of time without any water to douse them, pointing to the fact that none of the firefighters who responded to the scene were able to reach any of the floors above the fire floor until it was too late. This would have caused the steel to heat up and expand, putting extreme stress on the building's supporting structures.

Finally, some people believe that evidence found in debris from the site indicates that some kind of explosive device may have been detonated inside one of the towers, bringing it down.

The collapse of these buildings has led to questions being raised about security at other high-rise sites across the country.

Did the Twin Towers have fire sprinklers?

The 47-story office building caught fire as rubble from WTC 1 collapsed on it, and the flames burned uncontrollably because its sprinklers failed—city water pipes were destroyed in the Twin Towers' demolition.

Without water to douse the flames, firefighters had no choice but to leave the building once they arrived on the scene. The presence of smoke detectors is seen as a factor in saving lives, although there are other factors such as building code compliance that may have played a role as well.

Fire departments use water to put out fires, and without any water inside the Twin Towers they would have been completely destroyed before help could have arrived.

There was some question at first whether the buildings had fire suppression systems, but later reports confirmed their existence. The New York City Fire Department said all high-rise buildings built after 1978 should have fire sprinklers installed to provide at least some measure of protection for workers in case of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that all commercial buildings over 10 stories include fire protection systems designed to operate automatically for at least an hour.

The buildings did not have enough water to supply a large-scale fire, but they would have provided some protection against smaller fires had they been equipped with fire sprinklers.

How did the damage to the north and south towers differ?

Because the North Tower was hit precisely in the middle, the three stairwells in the tower core were all destroyed or obstructed by rubble, limiting evacuation to lower levels. 614 people died on the hit levels and the floors above them in the South Tower. Another 2,858 people suffered injuries here.

The cause of this difference is not clear. Some researchers believe that it may be due to different construction techniques used by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for their twin towers. The North Tower had more glass area per floor, but less overall floor space than the South Tower. The greater concentration of people on smaller floors in the North Tower may have made it more vulnerable to attack.

In addition, the impact of the collision caused more damage to the South Tower because it was farther from the center of gravity of the airplane. The North Tower received most of its weight on its foundation, which remained relatively undamaged, while much of the South Tower's weight was supported only by its upper sections which collapsed.

Finally, there are differences in the number of flights between deaths. These may be explained by differences in passenger traffic between the two towers. The South Tower had fewer passengers per year than the North Tower, which may have made it easier for crews to escape quickly if another plane had come along. In fact, several people on multiple flights survived by taking advantage of this fact.

About Article Author

Leonard Reed

Leonard Reed is a self-taught carpenter who has been working in the construction industry for over 15 years. He started out as an apprentice but quickly progressed to become a journeyman where he learned every aspect of the trade. Recently, Leonard has been promoted to lead carpenter at his construction company where he is in charge of overseeing all the carpenter's activities and supervising other employees.

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