- News Home
6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
Engineers Push New Study of Twin Towers' Collapse
7 March 2002 (All day)
Researchers are calling for a major study of why the World Trade Center buildings collapsed after the 11 September terrorist attacks. Engineers yesterday told a congressional committee that it will take several years and at least $40 million to fully understand what toppled the twin towers and how other skyscrapers might be made safer. Lawmakers have asked the White House to quickly fund the study, which would be led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Engineers and materials scientists began studying the collapse of New York City's 415-meter-tall landmarks even before the dust settled. But their investigations have been hampered by bureaucratic infighting, legal concerns, and lack of timely access to the site, witnesses told the House Science Committee. It took months, for instance, for researchers to obtain key blueprints, video footage, and samples from scrap steel beams, said W. Gene Corley, head of a government-sponsored study team organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers. To get the plans, Corley even had to sign an agreement not to testify in potential lawsuits against the building's owners, the Port Authority of New York. Despite such travails, Corley's panel is set to issue its preliminary report next month. The $1 million effort is expected to conclude that jet fuel from the hijacked airliners ignited fires that weakened steel beams, allowing upper floors to pancake onto those below.
But Corley said it will take at least $40 million to "fully fund a comprehensive study of an event of this magnitude and complexity." Researchers want to better understand how the tower's design influenced the fires and whether different kinds of steel or sprinkler systems might have reduced the damage.
NIST head Arden Dement said his agency--the government's expert on fire safety and building materials--is already planning the new study, which would involve government, industry, and academic scientists. Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), head of the Science Committee, has asked the White House to find funds this year to jumpstart the effort. Bush Administration officials have yet to respond, although they have approved the concept of such a study.