News of the WeekANTITERRORISM PROGRAMS

Intense Fire Doomed Trade Center Towers

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Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2182-2183
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5538.2182b

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Summary

One hundred minutes after being struck near the 90th floor by a hijacked airliner, the 110-story, 415-meter-high North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed into a six-story-high pile of rubble. Engineers and materials scientists are still analyzing the collapse, but they believe its primary cause to be the intense heat--up to 1000°C--from the nearly 30,000 kilograms of burning jet fuel.