Larry Silverstein said that WTC7 was "pulled", intentionally
I remember getting a call from the,
er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were
gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, "We've had such
terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it." And
they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.
If WTC7 was wired up with
explosives, then why not the other towers?
Alex Jones has just one of the takes
on this story:
Larry Silverstein, the owner of the
WTC complex, admitted on a September 2002 PBS documentary, 'America
Rebuilds' that he and the NYFD decided to 'pull' WTC 7 on the day of the
attack. The word 'pull' is industry jargon for taking a building down with
We know that the term 'pull it' means to bring the building down by means
of explosives because in the same documentary a cleanup worker (in December
2001) refers to the demolition of WTC Building 6 when he says,
"...we're getting ready to pull the building six."
There’s an immediate issue with
this, though, because building 6 was not demolished with
explosives. Joël v.d. Reijden reported an ImplosionWorld comment that
describes what “pulled”, in the WTC6 context, actually meant:
Conventionally, "pull a
building" can mean to pre-burn holes in steel beams near the top floor
and affix long cables to heavy machinery, which then backs up and causes
the structure to lean off its center of gravity and eventually collapse.
But this is only possible with buildings about 6-7 stories or smaller. This
activity was performed to bring down WTC 6 (Customs) after 9/11 because of
the danger in demolishing conventionally."
So here “pull” isn’t as much slang,
as a literal description of the final part of the process. Which
doesn’t sound like something that matches up with WTC7.
Other sites go further, suggesting “pull it” isn’t commonly used slang
at all. And Reijden, despite believing it’s most likely that WTC7 was
demolished by explosives, doesn’t accept that Silverstein’s quote is in
itself evidence of that. He reports:
I mailed Jowenko BV and asked if
'pull' was an industry term for 'demolish'. They said it wasn't.
Implosionworld said the same thing. I run into the same problem when
looking into different dictionaries. There is always a distinction made
between 'pull down', 'pull away' and 'pull back'. And I have not been able
to find one person on the internet who uses this word as a substitute for
'demolish'. So I think it's safe to assume that Larry needs to clarify what
he meant, but unfortunately he refuses to do that.
Those sceptical of the
“pull=demolish” idea suggest that “pull it” could mean “pull a firefighting
operation”, instead. And even sites collecting examples to show that
it is a demolition term (see http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/wtc7/pullit.html, for
instance), offer some support for this idea. Note how that page also
contains the following quotes referring to the firefighters (our emphasis
on the words in bold):
...they had a hoseline operating.
Like I said, it was hitting the sidewalk across the street, but eventually
they pulled back too...
Firehouse: Chief Nigro said they made a collapse zone and wanted everybody
away from number 7— did you have to get all of those people out?
Hayden: Yeah, we had to pull everybody back.
And we have other issues with the
“demolition” interpretation of Silverstein’s remarks.
Problem #1, Larry Silverstein is not a demolition contractor, neither was
the fire department chief, so why should we assume they’d be using slang
Problem #2, Silverstein says "they made that decision to pull",
for instance -- the Fire Department. If "pull" means
"demolish", then he's saying the Fire Department may not have
decided to bring the building down if they couldn't contain the fire, but
because it was beyond them, they decided to blow it up. Does this make
sense? Not in the slightest.
Problem #3, Silverstein is suggesting that the decision to demolish the
building was optional. It might not have happened. Does this fit
with the idea of a convenient insurance scam? No, not at all.
Problem #4, why would the Fire Department willingly agree to engage in a
multi-million dollar insurance fraud?
Problem #5, and since when do Fire Departments blow up buildings anyway?
Problem #6, and if it's so obvious that WTC7 was demolished, then why are
the insurance companies not suing Silverstein for fraud?
Problem #7, and why would Silverstein admit this on television?
You could argue that this is just Silverstein’s cover story, he didn’t
really mean all that, he wasn’t speaking to the Fire Department, but then
the situation is becoming even more complicated. What are we supposed
to believe: that he accidentally let slip the truth in “pull it”, while
lying elsewhere? What is the basis for picking out two words in this
account as reliable, and dismissing most of the others?
We prefer a simpler solution. And if "pull it" means
"pull people away from the building", then the problems certainly
fall away. This decision to pull really is optional, for instance
(they could decide to try and fight it, or not). And it's a decision
that could, and would be made by the Fire Department. With this
interpretation we don't have to pick out some words, or throw any others
away, and the answer actually makes sense.
This also happens to be Silverstein’s explanation:
On September 9, 2005, Mr. Dara
McQuillan, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, issued the following
statement on this issue:
Seven World Trade Center collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001,
after burning for seven hours. There were no casualties, thanks to the
heroism of the Fire Department and the work of Silverstein Properties
employees who evacuated tenants from the building.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducted a thorough
investigation of the collapse of all the World Trade Center
buildings. The FEMA report concluded that the collapse of Seven World
Trade Center was a direct result of fires triggered by debris from the
collapse of WTC Tower 1.
In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein spoke to the Fire
Department Commander on site at Seven World Trade Center. The
Commander told Mr. Silverstein that there were several firefighters in the
building working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed his
view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those
firefighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the
Later in the day, the Fire Commander ordered his firefighters out of the
building and at 5:20 p.m. the building collapsed. No lives were lost
at Seven World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
As noted above, when Mr. Silverstein was recounting these events for a
television documentary he stated, “I said, you know, we've had such
terrible loss of life. Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull
it.” Mr. McQuillan has stated that by “it,” Mr. Silverstein meant the
contingent of firefighters remaining in the building.
One objection to this account is
that it mentions firefighters being in the building. Many point to
FEMA’s report that there was no firefighting effort at all, and other
accounts that say people were pulled away by 11:30 in the morning.
WTC 7 collapsed approximately 7
hours after the collapse of WTC 1. Preliminary indications were that, due
to lack of water, no manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY."
By 11:30 a.m., the fire commander in
charge of that area, Assistant Chief Frank Fellini, ordered firefighters
away from it for safety reasons.
However, FEMA’s talk of “preliminary
indications” suggest even they don’t view this as a definitive timeline,
and NIST place firefighters in and around the building into the early
One Battalion Chief coming from the
building indicated that they had searched floors 1 through 9 and found that
the building was clear.390 In the process of the search, the Battalion
Chief met the building’s Fire Safety Director and Deputy Fire Safety
Director on the ninth floor. The Fire Safety Director reported that the
building’s floors had been cleared from the top down. By this time, the
Chief Officer responsible for WTC 7 reassessed the building again and
determined that fires were burning on the following floors: 6, 7, 8, 17,
21, and 30.391 No accurate time is available for these actions
during the WTC 7 operations; however, the sequence of event indicates that
it occurred during a time period from 12:30 p.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m.
The Chief Officer then met with his command officer to discuss the
building’s condition and FDNY’s capabilities for controlling the building
fires. A Deputy Chief who had just returned from inside the building
reported that he had conducted an inspection up to the 7th or 8th floor.392
He indicated that the stairway was filling with smoke and that there was a
lot of fire inside the building. The chiefs discussed the situation and the
following conditions were identified: 393, 394
• The building had sustained damage from debris falling into the building,
and they were not sure about the structural stability of the building.
• The building had large fires burning on at least six floors. Any one of
these six fires would have been considered a large incident during normal
• There was no water immediately available for fighting the fires.
• They didn’t have equipment, hose, standpipe kits, tools, and enough handie
talkies for conducting operations inside the building.
At approximately, 2:30 p.m., FDNY officers decided to completely abandon
WTC 7, and the final order was given to evacuate the site around the
building. 395, 396 The order terminated the ongoing rescue
operations at WTC 6 and on the rubble pile of WTC 1. Firefighters and other
emergency responders were withdrawn from the WTC 7 area, and the building
continued to burn. At approximately 5:20 p.m., some three hours after WTC 7
was abandoned the building experienced a catastrophic failure and
390 FDNY Interview 26, winter 2004.
391 FDNY Interview 3, winter 2004.
392 FDNY interview 14, winter 2004.
393 FDNY Interview 3, winter 2004.
394 FDNY Interview 14, winter 2004.
395 FDNY Interview 3, winter 2004.
396 FDNY interview 14, winter 2004.
The Emergency Response Operations
In addition, a number of other
testimonies report that firefighters were in reasonably close proximity to
WTC7 until very near to the time it collapsed, and they also had to be
The most important operational
decision to be made that afternoon was the collapse had damaged 7 World
Trade Center, which is about a 50 story building, at Vesey between West
Broadway and Washington Street. It had very heavy fire on many floors and I
ordered the evacuation of an area sufficient around to protect our members,
so we had to give up some rescue operations that were going on at the time
and back the people away far enough so that if 7 World Trade did collapse,
we wouldnít lose any more people.
Then we found out, I guess around
3:00 o' clock, that they thought 7 was going to collapse. So, of course,
we've got guys all in this pile over here and the main concern was get
everybody out, and I guess it took us over an hour and a half, two hours to
get everybody out of there...
This whole pile was burning like crazy. Just the heat and the smoke from
all the other buildings on fire, you couldnít see anything. So it took us a
while and we ended up backing everybody out, and that ís when 7 collapsed.
...the stream was even good enough
to almost reach Tower 7. And then what happened was, we heard this rumbling
sound and my father pulled us all back and then with that Tower 7 came
down. We were still operating the satellite at that point. We ran. It
really didn’t come up to where the satellite was, but it came close enough.
Firehouse: Chief Nigro said they
made a collapse zone and wanted everybody away from number 7— did you have
to get all of those people out?
Hayden: Yeah, we had to pull everybody back. It was very difficult. We had
to be very forceful in getting the guys out. They didn’t want to come out.
There were guys going into areas that I wasn’t even really comfortable
with, because of the possibility of secondary collapses. We didn’t know how
stable any of this area was. We pulled everybody back probably by 3 or 3:30
in the afternoon. We said, this building is going to come down, get back.
It came down about 5 o’clock or so, but we had everybody backed away by
I walked out and I got to Vesey and
West, where I reported to Frank. He said, we’re moving the command post
over this way, that building’s coming down. At this point, the fire was
going virtually on every floor, heavy fire and smoke that really wasn’t
bothering us when we were searching because it was being pushed southeast
and we were a little bit west of that. I remember standing just where West
and Vesey start to rise toward the entrance we were using in the World
Financial Center. There were a couple of guys standing with me and a couple
of guys right at the intersection, and we were trying to back them up – and
here goes 7. It started to come down and now people were starting to run.
But can we trust these
testimonies? Some appear to suggest not, pointing to the account of
...by noon or one o’clock, they told
us we had to move from that triage site, up to Pace University a little
further away, because Building 7 was gonna come down, or being brought
BF: Did they actually use the words brought down, and who was it that was
telling you this?
IS: The Fire Department, the Fire Department, and they did use the word,
we’re gonna have to bring it down. And, for us, there observing the nature
of the devastation it made total sense to us that this was indeed a
Given the subsequent controversy over it, I don’t know. I’m not an
engineer, all I know is that was my experience...
Singhs account appears to suggest
widespread knowledge throughout the police and fire department of WTC7
being “brought down”. This is not something reflected in their
testimonies, though. Are they all choosing to lie (or at least not
speak out) for the benefit of the conspirators, despite the deaths of their
colleagues earlier in the day? Does that seem likely to you? Or
is it more plausible that Singhs version is simply incorrect?
There are questions about both sides of the issue, then, but overall, the
explanation of “pull it” meaning “remove the firefighters” makes more sense
to us. It means we don’t have to find explanations for why he said
this on TV, for instance, or why the fire department would be involved in
demolitions, and cover them up afterwards (or why we should take
Silverstein at his word for “pull it”, then ignore everything else he
But this is just our opinion, and there’s no reason that should carry any
weight with you whatosever. So it’s business as usual: go follow and
explore the reference links above, think about all sides of the argument
and make your own mind up.