Video shows aftermath of 9/11 collapses


Video shows aftermath of 9/11 collapses

June 13, 2007

Purdue faculty members have created a scientific animation of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center that shows what happened to the towers after planes crashed into them. The project was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.


The animation shows how a plane went through several stories of the north tower and the effect the plane's body and fuel had on the structure as well as the effects of glass, dust and other factors in the destruction of the tower.

The simulation found that the planes peeled away shortly after impact and the engines flew through the building like bullets.


Confirming another simulation, the Purdue model showed that it was the 10,000 gallons of fuel that caused the most damage, knocking out essential structural columns and removing fireproof insulation.

"It is the weight, the kinetic energy of the fuel, that causes much of the damage in these events," said Christoph Hoffmann, professor of computer science and director of Purdue's Rosen Center for Advanced Computing. "If it weren't for the subsequent fire, the structural damage might be almost the same if the planes had been filled with water instead of fuel."


Structural engineers need to know what happened to the buildings structurally to prevent it from happening again. From this data, engineers can design buildings that may be more resistant to a terrorist attack or accidental crashes.

"This is important work that has more applications than we first thought," Hoffmann said.


The animation was careful not to exploit the tragedy involved in the attacks.

For instance, the airplane doesn't have insignia or windows. The simulation also doesn't show the effects of the fire and explosions, since they were not vital for the purpose of the project.

see it online

To see a video of the 9/11 research, go to

-- Brian Wallheimer/

great comments on their site Mekt

I was going to post this but don't feel like registering... Why does the title of the article say aftermath of collapses? It's about the plane crashes not the collapses or aftermath of collapses... how odd.


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Freefall trumps all


Physics/Science/Mathematics do not lie, only people do.
9/11 was an INSIDE JOB

I posted this

"The heat from an ordinary office fire would suffice to soften and weaken the unprotected steel. Evaluation of the effects of the fire on the core column structure, with the insulation removed by the impact, showed that collapse would follow whatever the number of columns cut at the time of the impact."

If an ordinary office fire can collapse a steel-framed highrise, fire insulation in all the other fire-affected highrises in the world must have been in good condition.

That must also have been the case with this still unfinished skyscraper which burned for hours in Qatar, with huge flames coming out of every floor:

Despite all the reported shortcomings in construction and quality control, it's a good thing that they at least had managed to take good care of fireproofing so that the building didn't collapse to dust and debris at the speed of 7-8 floors per second, as the Twin Towers and WTC 7 did on 9/11!

Interesting animation. A

Interesting animation. A shame they didn't simulate it during the NIST's 'collapse initiation' and the subsequent freefall collapse of the entire building.

I thought the overall damage to the core column mesh grid looked rather minimal in their wireframe view of the core columns. How revealing. This echoes previous comments by WTC designers that the highly-redundant buildings were like fly-nets poked by a pencil if hit by a plane.

What would be interesting to do with their simulation, would be to instantly remove the 3 floors where the plane hit, and see what happens. Does the building collapse entirely? If it doesn't in this extreme case (because 3 floors didn't instantly disappear due to fire), then how could it have collapse without explosives?

Seems like Purdue is obsessed with looking at the 9/11 incidents. They previously simulated
the Pentagon crash.

My comment at JConline

These are representations of models

They are not the models themselves. Creating an animation using data from energy balance models is the expertise of Christoph Hoffmann. This study does not "find" anything, it represents others' findings.

Have the data used to create this animation been published by Purdue University? Where? Thank you.

Although i agree that the

Although i agree that the structural damage to the core was over emphasized by NIST and this is a more reasonable assessment.The problem i have is that although there were 10,000 gallons on board the plane,the huge fireball{especially in the second plane strike}burned off 70% of that fuel on impact.3000 Gallons is a more realistic amount of fuel to be considered.NIST say that fuel burned off in minutes anyway.
We all saw the engines come out of the building yet in NIST,s computer graphics no engines exited the buildings.That proves they over emphasized the damage caused by those engines.

A couple of problems with most of these simulations

In this one it seems they didn't do a very good job simulating the core. The columns are too narrow and far apart from each other. Plus they don't take into account the other internal structures. Where are the stairwells, elevators, walls, bathrooms, computers rooms...?

Also, there were big differences internally between the impact zones for WTC 1 and WTC 2. So the simulation for one Tower won't work for the other.