Claims of explosions at WTC persist

Claims of explosions at WTC persist

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

More than two months after the attacks on the World Trade Center, reports persist of explosions inside the towers just before they collapsed. Reports come from a number of eyewitnesses, reporters and experts, but they have been mostly ignored.

An explosives expert, Van Romero, former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at New Mexico Tech, said on the day of the attacks: “My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center, there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” (

The towers collapsed in a fashion resembling the controlled implosions employed by demolition companies to drop old buildings. Romero told The Albuquerque Journal the destruction of the towers was “too methodical to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures.”

Demolition experts say towers are the toughest to bring down in a controlled fashion. A tower tends to topple over like a tree, unless the direction it falls is controlled by directional charges. The twin towers came down neatly, dropping within the boundaries of their foundations.

Romero is vice-president of research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, which studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on aircraft, buildings and other structures. His department often does forensic investigations into terrorist attacks and sometimes sets off similar explosions to study the results.

The towers appeared stable after being struck by the aircraft, but without warning, the south tower imploded vertically downward at 9:58 a.m., some 53 minutes after being struck. At 10:28 a.m., 88 minutes after it was struck, the north tower collapsed.

“It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an event like that,” Romero said. If it was charges that felled the buildings, “It could have been a relatively small amount of explosives placed in strategic points,” he said.

He said one hallmark of terrorist attacks is a diversionary attack, followed by a secondary device. First the airplanes hit, then a second explosion follows. Ten days after his initial remarks, Romero changed his conclusion and said the fire caused by the plane crashes is what brought the building down.

One eyewitness, who was about two-and-a-half blocks from the south tower, said he saw “a number of brief light sources being emitted from inside the building between floors 10 and 15.” He said there were about six of these flashes and a crackling sound before the tower came down. Each tower had six central supports.

A New York firefighter, Louie Cacchioli, told People Weekly on Sept. 24: “I was taking firefighters up in the elevator to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up, a bomb went off. We think there were bombs set in the building.”

Kim White, who worked on the 80th floor of that tower, told People Weekly: “We got down as far as the 74th floor…then there was another explosion.”

The accepted theory is that the fires from the planes heated the steel to 2,000 degrees, causing the support beams to buckle.

Lee Robertson was the structural engineer on construction of the WTC. “I designed it for a 707 to hit it,” he said. A Boeing 707 carries more than 23,000 gallons of jet fuel, comparable to the 767’s 23,980 gallon capacity.

Aaron Swirski was another architect on the WTC project. He lives in Israel today. Swirski told Jerusalem Post Radio: “It was designed around that eventuality to survive this kind of attack,” he said.

Hyman Brown was construction manager on the WTC job. Today he is a civil engineering professor at the University of Colorado. “It was over-designed to withstand almost anything including hurricanes, high winds, bombings and an airplane hitting it,” he said.

Brown said he “did not buy” the theory that the implosions were caused by the fires sucking the air out of lower floors.

The contractor who was first on the scene to remove the debris was a demolition company, Controlled Demolition, Inc. of Baltimore, headed by Mark Loizeaux.

CDI also demolished and removed the shell of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Both these actions prevented independent investigators from checking evidence on leads indicating bombs may have been set off inside the buildings.

In February of last year, a federal grand jury indicted Mark and Douglas Loizeaux and CDI on charges of falsely reporting campaign contributions by requesting family members and employees to give to the campaign of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.

The two brothers and CDI were acquitted in September 2000. Clean-up of the rubble has been estimated to cost $7 billion and will take a year.

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