ERROR: 'Building 6 Was Cratered by a Huge Explosion'
An error about the World Trade Center demolition that is nearly
as widespread as the errors about the
total collapse times
and the meaning of the
is the idea that Building 6 was cratered by a huge explosion.
The source of this myth is a CNN video frame showing a vast
white dust cloud rising from
an area said to be between Building 7 and the North Tower.
It is claimed that the frame was taken shortly after the
South Tower plane crash, while both towers were still standing.
A variant of this error attributes the dust cloud
to an explosion in Building 7.
In fact the frame was clearly taken just after the South Tower
collapsed, and shows a column of its dust cloud rising from the
World Trade Center plaza.
This is obvious from an examination of the geometry of
the camera vantage point and the relative positions of the buildings.
The frame shows the North Tower from the North with
its northeast face slightly more foreshortened than its northwest face.
This guarantees that, had the South Tower been standing, about 60 percent
of its northwest face would have been visible to the right
of the North Tower.
All that is visible to the right of the North Tower in the video frame
is the smoke and dust plume from the just-collapsed South Tower.
Even ignoring the absence of the South Tower in the video frame,
it is obvious from the thick white color of the dust cloud that
it was not from some kind of explosion.
Rather it was part of the vast dust cloud from the collapsed tower.
The severe damage to Building 6
is often cited as evidence of the alleged explosion.
However there is another explanation for the damage that much better
accounts for its features
documented by aerial and satellite photographs of the building's exterior,
such as the one on the right,
and by interior photographs,
such as the one on page 93 of Painful Questions.
They show that the damage consisted primarily of a series of holes
with the following features:
- Run almost the height of the building
- Have vertical walls,
where the different floors have virtually identical damage profiles
- Are mostly rectilinear in shape
- Show metal pieces hanging down and bent down but not up
- Mimic the profile of the North Tower's footprint,
which is parallel to and has about the same length as the
rectangle formed by combining the two holes.
(Remains of the North Tower are visible immediately left of
the two holes in Building 6.)
The last feature is a dead give-away of the real cause of the damage:
primarily the thousands of tons of steel from the North Tower's northeast
perimeter wall falling from as high as 1300 feet.
page last modified: 2006-12-31