Progressive Collapses that Occurred Prior to 9-11

Conspiracy theorists claim the only examples of progressive collapse are the Twin Towers on 9-11 and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. This quote from here shows the “truther” claim: “You’ve heard that the Twin Towers pancaked, crushing themselves completely. The experts gave us a fancy-sounding term for this: progressive collapse. If you search with the phrase “progressive collapse” you will find numerous articles, most of them written since 9/11/01 about things like assessing and retrofitting existing structures against progressive collapse. It seems that the only examples of progressive collapse of buildings cited are the Twin Towers, Building 7, and the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.”

As usual, the 9-11 “Truth” Movement isn’t entirely truthful. The previous source cites the L’Ambiance Plaza collapse in 1987. Here’s the truth about L’Ambiance Plaza, according to the quote from this source: “At the time of collapse, the building was a little more than halfway completed. In the west tower, the ninth, tenth, and eleventh floor slab package was parked in stage IV directly under the twelfth floor and roof package. The shear walls were about five levels below the lifted slabs (Cuoco, 1992). The workmen were tack welding wedges under the ninth, tenth, and eleventh floor package to temporarily hold them into position when they heard a loud metallic sound followed by rumbling. Kenneth Shepard, an ironworker who was installing wedges at the time, looked up to see the slab over him “cracking like ice breaking.” Suddenly, the slab fell on to the slab below it, which was unable to support this added weight and in turn fell. The entire structure collapsed, first the west tower and then the east tower, in 5 seconds, only 2.5 seconds longer than it would have taken an object to free fall from that height.”

As points out, the upper floor slabs fell onto the lower ones, and the lower floor slabs, being unable to handle the weight, collapsed onto the slabs below them, leaving a pile of debris, much like the Twin Towers on 9-11. Granted, the design wasn’t the same, but it proves that a structure suffers progressive collapse if it no longer has the ability to handle a specified load.

Two other examples of progressive collapse, found here are the December 1985, catastrophic accident that occurred in Los Angeles in a 21-story steel-frame building under construction, where one bay on the fifth floor was loaded to twice it’s capacity, and the March 1973 multistory building collapse at Bailey’s Crossroads in Fairfax County, Va. due to premature removal of shoring. also gives examples of finished buildings that suffered progressive collapse: the March 1986 collapse of the six-story Lian Yak building in Singapore, and the ’68 collapse of the Ronan Point Apartments in the UK. Oh, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page here, you’ll see the results of the Ronan Points collapse inquiry and proof that engineers have been worried about progressive collapse well before 9-11 ever happened.

Clearly, if ignorance is bliss, then the 9-11 “Truth” movement must be in paradise.


Posted February 10, 2008 by Victor Chabala in Real 9/11 Facts

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