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UC Berkeley Professor Releases Study of 911 Disaster

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Nearly six years after al-Qaida terrorists flew jetliners into New York's World Trade Center, engineers are still trying to explain why the twin towers collapsed. A UC Berkeley professor is releasing the results of his lengthy examination of the disaster.

After more than five years of studying what caused the World Trade Center to collapse, UC Berkeley engineering professor Abolhassan Astaneh has an answer.

"On 911 building the lost, the plane ended up being stronger than building, entered the building, caused the fire and the fire collapsed the buildings," said UC Berkeley professor Albolhassan Astaneh.

The World Trade Center was built using a type of construction that as far as professor Astaneh knows had never been used before, and has not been used since. Steel walls surround the structure bearing most of the load. In traditional building there's structural framing like a cage throughout the building making it stronger according to the professor.

"Our studies show that if you had designed it according to code using the traditional systems that we use in any other building the building would be easily defeating the plane," said Professor Astaneh.

Professor Astaneh says it's a little known fact that the World Trade Center was built without conforming to New York City's building code and without New York City permits; that's because construction was under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"It doesn't mean that there was anything wrong with the gravity design to resist the gravity of wind. But such a design did not have the embedded robustness that the code design would have," said Professor Astaneh.

He was quick to point out it wasn't engineers or designers who killed more than 3,000 people that day.

"This tragedy and all those people perished there, who were murdered were just murdered because of those 19 murderers who attacked them and organizers behind them. So let's don't forget that," said Professor Astaneh.

At a special presentation Tuesday, professor Astaneh will unveil new animated simulations showing what would have happened to the World Trade Center if it had been built using traditional code approved methods. Another simulation will shows what would have happened to the world trade center even if it had been hit by a much smaller planes. The result he says would have been the same.

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