Try out this thought experiment. Larry Silverstein, World Trade Center leaseholder, talks with an interviewer shortly after the September 11 attacks.
IN: Tell me about World Trade Center 7.
LS: We decided to pull it.
IN: Pull what?
LS: The building. We decided to pull the building down.
LS: Look at the destruction that day, the loss of life. Nobody would want to use that building again. Besides, it had suffered a lot of damage.
IN: But why pull it down the same day, without any warning?
LS: Oh, we warned people. We didn’t want any more casualties after what happened that morning.
IN: How did you warn people? It was pretty crowded around there.
LS: Actually, people nearby were paramedics, firemen, police and such. We passed the word to people close by that the building would come down, in time for them to clear out.
IN: It was such a big structure, though. Why not wait until the area could be secured?
LS: That wasn’t my call. I got word the building should come down as soon as possible. We didn’t want to wait till dark.
IN: Who said that to you?
LS: I’m not sure, and I’m not trying to be evasive. It might have been the mayor. Maybe someone from a federal agency. Everybody had something to say that day.
IN: But doesn’t bringing a building like that down require a lot of preparation? You have to place the explosives, connect the detonators to the charges, and so on.
LS: That’s the beauty of modern construction. All of that’s in place when you build the skyscraper.
IN: I didn’t know that.
LS: Nothing lasts to infinity. Every building has to come down sometime. It’s economical to plan for end-of-life when you build it, especially when you’re dealing with a reinforced steel frame.
IN: Isn’t that hazardous? Who wants to work in a building rigged to collapse?
LS: It’s not so hazardous at all. The control system insures you can’t bring the building down accidentally, but you can do so intentionally without complicated preparation. The demolition experts were able to set things up the same afternoon.
IN: You had demolition experts available?
LS: Believe me, when you have an event like 9/11, a lot of people show up.
IN: Weren’t you sorry to see yet a third big building drop to the ground?
LS: Yes, the whole day was a bad day. At least with Building 7, we had no injuries or deaths.
IN: You know people will look at video of explosions in the Twin Towers, and say those skyscrapers came down intentionally, too.
LS: What can I do about that? You know the camera doesn’t lie.
LS: If that’s what they want to think, I can’t stop them.
IN: You just said the camera doesn’t lie.
LS: You see what you want to see. But if you look with an open mind, the camera doesn’t lie.
IN: So you think someone brought the towers down on purpose?
LS: Don’t look at me, friend. You said it.