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The Vulnerable WTC
Star-Ledger - Tuesday, June 08, 2004
To The Editor:
One point that doesn't seem to have been discussed at the 9/11 hearings is the World Trade Center's shoddy construction.
The structure was essentially supported by an inner core and outside walls, with long trusses connecting the walls with the core. In a conventional design, there would have been numerous steel columns and beams between the outer walls and the core.
The heat from the crashed planes melted the steel trusses. The trusses below where the planes hit couldn't withstand the weight of the falling steel and debris and collapsed. The floors fell in a cascading effect.
If the structure had been built with intermediate column support, the buildings wouldn't have collapsed since the structure below where the planes hit wasn't subject to the fires and high temperatures. The Port Authority decided to make the Twin Towers the world's tallest buildings. Because of the huge cost involved, it settled for a cheap design.
Had the WTC been constructed in a conventional way, hundreds of lives would have been saved. It's puzzling that there is no outcry and no investigation of the decisions that led to such poorly constructed buildings.
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