Exclusive to American Free Press
By Christopher Bollyn
Fire Engineering magazine, the 125-year old journal of record among America’s fire engineers and firefighters, recently blasted the investigation being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the collapsed World Trade Center as a “a half-baked farce.”
Fire Engineering’s editor, William Manning, issued a “call to action” to America’s firefighters and fire engineers in the January issue asking them to contact their representatives in Congress and officials in Washington to demand a blue ribbon panel to thoroughly investigate the collapse of the World Trade Center structures.
Fire Engineering frequently publishes technical studies of major fires and is read in more than 50,000 fire departments and schools of fire engineering across the nation.
Manning challenged the theory that the towers collapsed as a result of the crashed airliners and the subsequent fuel fires, saying, “Respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers.”
No evidence has been produced to support the theory that the burning jet fuel and secondary fires “attacking the questionably fireproofed lightweight trusses and load-bearing columns directly caused the collapses,” Manning wrote, adding that the collapses occurred “in an alarmingly short time.”
Because no “real evidence” has been produced, the theory that the twin towers collapsed due to fire “could remain just unexplored theory,” Manning said.
Manning visited the site shortly after the collapse and his photographs appeared in the October issue of Fire Engineering. None of the photos show the load-bearing central steel support columns standing or fallen, which raises the question, what caused these columns to disintegrate?
An eyewitness to the collapse told AFP that as he stood two blocks from the World Trade Center he had seen “a number of brief light sources being emitted from inside the building between floors 10 and 15.” He saw about six of these brief flashes, accompanied by a “crackling sound” immediately before the tower collapsed.
DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE
The steel from the site must be preserved to allow investigators to determine what caused the collapse, Manning said. “The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.”
“For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China,” Manning said, “perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.”
“Such destruction of evidence,” Manning wrote, “shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history.”
Nowhere in the national standard for fire investigation does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall, Manning said. “Clearly, there are burning questions that need answers. Based on the incident’s magnitude alone, a full-throttle, fully-resourced, forensic investigation is imperative. The lessons about the buildings’ design and behavior in this extraordinary event must be learned and applied in the real world.
“Did they throw away the locked doors from the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? Did they throw away the gas can used at the Happyland Social Club fire? Did they cast aside the pressure-regulating valves at the Meridian Plaza fire? Of course not. But essentially, that’s what they’re doing at the World Trade Center.”
The collapse of the World Trade Center was the first total collapse of a high-rise during a fire in United States history and the largest structural collapse in recorded history. The collapse resulted in the deaths of some 3,000 people, the second largest loss of life on American soil and the largest loss of firefighters ever at one incident, yet congressional hearings or a “blue ribbon” commission looking into the events of Sept. 11 have not been called for, and may never be.
In a separate editorial, “WTC Investigation? A Call to Action,” by the magazine’s technical editor, Prof. Glenn Corbett of John Jay University in New York City, and two other expert fire engineers who specialize in high-rise buildings, the FEMA-led investigation was called “uncoordinated” and “superficial.”
“The World Trade Center disaster demands the most comprehensive, detailed investigation possible,” the writers said. “No event in our entire fire service history has