Skip to comments.Above the Impact: A WTC Survivor s Story
Posted on 04/29/2002 12:32:14 PM PDT by dead
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Never Forget !
WTC collapsed because the towers were built "on the cheap" the towers should have been built to a shorter height, around 70 stories
Why did a third building; 7 World Trade Center, a 47th story building implode?
Because, at 47 stories, they didnt build it tall enough, according to your silly theory.
Seriously, that building burned for six hours after being riddled with flying beams weighing hundreds of tons and assorted other burning debris. These set entire floors on fire.
In addition to the obvious problems going on that prevented the usual fire departments response, there were also 5 tanks of diesel fuel in the building holding as much as 42,000 gallons of fuel for backup generators, such as the mayors command center.
BTW, the steel beams in WTC7 (which wasnt built until 1987) were treated with fireproofing material, and the rooms holding the diesel tanks were further fire-proofed.
"Any structure anywhere in the world, if you put it in these conditions, it will not stand. The buildings are not designed to be a torch."
- Silvian Marcus, structural engineer
Unfortunately the collapse was shown on TV from the north side, where the fire wasn't, and as a result a lot of people think there was something mysterious/suspicious about #7 falling down. Here's the front of the building, seen from the river:
Now that's a bad fire and, from the angle of the sun, it was still early in the day.
The guy in the following story, Mike McQuade, is actually my first cousin, twice removed, though Ive only met him two or three times in my life. My father forwarded the story to me months after it was printed.
Survivor helps others before fleeing towers
Home News Tribune 9/14/01
Mike McQuade had no idea how much danger he was in.
McQuade, a Sayerville resident working on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center's north tower when it was attacked Tuesday, stopped along his way out of the building to help people trapped in elevators, get water for firemen and call his family. He finally left more than an hour after the plane hit, just minutes before the tower collapsed.
"To tell you the truth there was no time when I thought I was going to die. If I had thought that I would have been a mental case," McQuade said. "My biggest fear was leaving someone behind who I could have helped."
McQuade, 35, said many people inside didn't realize how severe the damage was, or that the towers were in danger of crumbling. He passed people who had decided to wait for rescuers and probably didn't escape. Others stopped to rest on landings. McQuade, an electrician, escaped with co-worker Anthony Vangeli.
"God had to be watching me because we both have 3 kids," McQuade said. "When we got out we looked at Tower 2 not there and thought, 'how could it be?' "
McQuade was on the side of the tower opposite the plane's point of impact.
"It sounded like a freight train and the whole building shook. A flame shot down the outside of the building - I didn't know what the hell it was."
The impact had blown the doors off of elevators and created small fires around the floor. McQuade and Vangeli waited for smoke to clear before starting down a flight of stairs.
"People were calm," McQuade said. They didn't know what had caused the impact and fire, and quietly went down stairs.
At the 82nd floor McQuade stopped to join a group helping trapped elevator passengers. The passengers sent the group away, but one man chose to stay behind, McQuade said.
He continued down the stairs, running into people he had met during his two years working on the World Trade Center's electricity. He passed an 87-year-old electrician who had worked at the tower when it was built, McQuade said.
"I'm not sure, but I have a feeling he didn't make it."
On the 52nd floor McQuade and Vangeli figured they were out of danger. They got water and called their families. His boss, who had seen the second plane hit, called McQuade's cellular phone.
"He said, 'Get the hell out of the building, what are you waiting for?' " McQuade said. He didn't take a direct route out, though. On the 44th floor he met a man looking for help and went back up six flights to aid more people stuck in elevators. He took a working elevator down to 44 and met firefighters on the 38th floor.
McQuade and Vangeli got them water and told them about the working elevator.
"It bothers me because I don't think they made it out," he said. When the firefighters told McQuade that a fireball had torn through the lobby, he feared for a co-worker who had gone for coffee minutes before the attack.
"My heart dropped and I said, 'she's dead.' "
At the ninth floor McQuade felt "a big suction and then there was an explosion - it must have been when Tower 2 went down." He overheard firefighters screaming for an evacuation. McQuade passed abandoned fire trucks and ambulances as he left the building. About 10 minutes after he left the tower, it collapsed.
McQuade took a ferry back to Sandy Hook where emergency personnel waited.
"You would think it was after D-Day with everything all covered in smoke, jets flying over; we thought it was a dream," he said. Relatives from all over New Jersey, including his daughters aged 10, 7 and 2, met McQuade at home. He heard from two co-workers who escaped unharmed.
At 7:30 Wednesday morning a phone call woke McQuade. It was the woman who had left for coffee.
"I was overwhelmed. We cried," he said.
I don't know exactly when it was taken, but I tried to remember where the sun usually is during the day in September (I paint, so I do pay attention to those things) and I'd say it was no earlier than noon or one. The big dust cloud had cleared, for one thing. The sun is still to the east, but just barely, and the shadows on the western side of the building are very short. It has to be later than ten-thirty in the morning.
Also, this picture was HUGE and very detailed so I cut it down before posting it on your thread. If you open it up, you can see that the WFC is pretty badly torn up on the side that faced the towers, and there's a big hole in the roof of the Winter Garden, along with what appears to be white smoke inside. The fire in there may have already been over, or just beginning. I'm not sure of the destruction timeline for the Winter Garden, and I don't even remember hearing anything about it until the following day.
I have it on tape, and will try to watch it again today. I was at the Marriot for three days in late August for a convention (my last trip to the area), and it's become something of an obsession for me to find that building in the disaster footage, at the point before it was completely destroyed. I saw it three times during the "9/11" documentary. There were these hideously big "bites" taken out of the building after the first tower fell, and when Tower One came down it obliterated everything but about three stories on the souther end. That was where that lovely bar was located.
I don't know why I do this to myself, it just seems important to get the physical layout all set in my mind. It was so disturbing to look at Ground Zero on television and not be able to orient myself visually to something as basic as north and south. It was that unrecognizable.
Again, huge fires fueled by massive diesel tanks meant for emergency generators led to to the collapse. These tanks were set on fire sometime during the collapses or the plane impacts. The tanks were directly underneath a transfer beam that supported some 40+ stories of structure above it. Much in the same way the building in OKC fell after a key column was blown away, 7 WTC fell after this main transfer beam failed, leading to the collapse of a key major column. When this collapsed, the entire building went. Again, your nominal 2 hours of fireproofing burnt off after 2 hours. Rememeber this building did not collapse until late in the afternoon.
My fiance's second cousin worked on the 101st floor of Tower Two, and also decided to get the hell out right after the first impact. She also called her mother from the 87th floor to say she was all right, and on her way out as soon as she could get on an elevator--and she did get on one. From what I heard later through the family grapevine, the second plane must have hit just before her elevator reached the lobby, because when the elevator doors opened there were burned people in the lobby. Everyone was directed outside somehow, and it took her hours and hours to get home. Her mother didn't know if she was alive or dead until late in the afternoon.
I had met my uncle's friend and this second cousin of my fiance's about two times apiece, so it's not like I knew them well. And they didn't know each other at all. But I have thoughts about them that I can't get rid of, because they were both on the same floor at the same time, waiting for elevators and making calls to let loved ones know they were okay. One made it out to safety and one didn't. I have this scenario in my head that the gentleman, who was a real gentleman, is standing right next to the cousin in the crowd near the elevators, and says something to the extent of "No, you go ahead; ladies first..."
See, I told you this has really messed me up.