WTC7: Diesel Fuel Tanks Claim Still Worth Millions in NY Courts

Circuit Revives Negligence Suit in 9/11 Substation Destruction

Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal, June 22, 2011

The insurer for Con Edison can sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for negligence in connection with the destruction by fire of 7 World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

Reversing a lower court's grant of summary judgment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the Port Authority can potentially be held liable in the $314.5 million suit for the installation of diesel fuel tanks at 7 World Trade.

Aegis Insurance, Con Edison's insurer, claims the presence of the tanks accelerated and ultimately caused the destruction of the building, which housed an electrical substation that powered the World Trade Center.

The building began to burn after it was hit by streaming fire and debris from the adjacent Twin Towers when terrorists flew two jets into them on 9/11. 7 World Trade burned throughout the day until Fire Chief Daniel Nigro made the call to abandon the building. It collapsed at 5:20 p.m., destroying the Con Edison substation.

Con Edison and its subrogee, Aegis, allege the fire raged out of control because of the fuel tanks the Port Authority allowed to be installed in 1987 by its primary tenant, Salomon Brothers investment bank, and in 1996, when New York City signed a lease to house its Office of Emergency Management command center and installed a diesel fuel tank and generator.

But Southern District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein granted summary judgment for the Port Authority on a claim based on the installation of the tanks and on a second claim alleging negligent design and construction of the building.

Yesterday, the Second Circuit upheld Judge Hellerstein on the negligent design and construction claim but reversed him on the fuel tanks.

Judges Roger J. Miner, Pierre N. Leval and Richard C. Wesley issued a 14-page summary order in Aegis Insurance Services Inc. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 09-3603-cv, that focused on the terms of the 1968 lease signed by Con Edison and the Port Authority.

"The district court interpreted the lease to preclude Con Edison from maintaining an action against Port Authority based on Port Authority's negligence in connection with construction or maintenance of 7 World Trade Center. This was an error," the panel said. "Con Edison's negligence claim arises at least from Port Authority's independent duty, as owner of the leased premises, to exercise reasonable care to avoid damage to persons or property thereon."

A "broad exculpatory clause" in the lease that relieves the Port Authority from liability to Con Edison, the circuit said, "contains an exception for cases when 'said damage, injury, and death shall be due to the negligence of Port Authority.'"

Judge Hellerstein interpreted the clause as allowing for negligence actions "in certain, very limited circumstances," which the circuit inferred as not including damage from negligence in connection with the construction of the building or installation of the tanks.

"We do not think such a limited reading of the negligence exception is warranted," the circuit said.

The panel also disagreed with the lower court's interpretation of another clause in the lease requiring the Port Authority to indemnify Con Edison for damages to the substation "in connection with the construction or maintenance" of 7 World Trade regardless of negligence or fault.

While the circuit agreed that this no-fault provision was limited to property damage during active construction or maintenance, it said the provision should not have been read by Judge Hellerstein to provide Con Edison an "exclusive basis for recovery" against the Port Authority.

On remand, the Port Authority is expected to continue its defense that the terror attacks, the collapse of the Twin Towers and Chief Nigro's decision to abandon the building were superseding events that relieves the agency from liability.

Franklin M. Sachs of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis in Iselin, N.J., argued for Aegis.

Beth D. Jacob of Schiff Hardin argued for the Port Authority.

@|Mark Hamblett can be contacted at


Port Authority May Be Held Liable for Installation of Fuel Tanks That Allegedly Contributed to Destruction of 7 World Trade Center


Aegis Insurance Services, Inc., A/S/O Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Et Al., Plaintiff-Appellants v. The Port Authority of New York And New Jersey, Defendant-Appellees, The City of New York, Defendant1, 09-3603-cv

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Insurance Law
new york law journal

Cite as: Aegis Ins. Ser., Inc. v. Port Authority of NY & NJ, 09-3603-cv, NYLJ 1202498068952, at *1 (Court, Decided June 21, 2011)

Before: Miner, Leval, Wesley, C.JJ.
Decided: June 21, 2011

For Plaintiff-Appellants: Franklin M. Sachs, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, Iselin, NJ (Mark L. Antin, Gennet, Kallmann, Antin & Robinson P.C., New York, NY, on the brief)

For Defendant-Appellees: Beth D. Jacob, Schiff Hardin LLP, New York, NY (Donald A. Klein, on the brief), for Defendant-Appellee The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Mark A. Bloom, Arent Fox LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee The City of New York.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Hellerstein, J.). UPON DUE CONSIDERATION, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that the judgment of the district court is VACATED in part, AFFIRMED in part, and the case REMANDED to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this order.

Plaintiffs Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and its subrogated insurers (collectively, "Con Edison") appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Hellerstein, J.), granting summary judgment to Defendant The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey ("Port Authority"). Con Edison's claims against Port Authority arise out of the destruction of the electrical substation housed at the base of 7 World Trade Center ("7WTC") when the building collapsed in the course of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Con Edison alleged, inter alia, (1) that Port Authority and its agents were negligent in connection with (a) the design and/or construction of 7WTC and (b) the installation and/or maintenance of certain diesel-fuel tanks intended to supply emergency backup power to the building (the "negligence claim"); and (2) that pursuant to a 1968 lease between the

parties, Port Authority was in any event contractually obligated (regardless of whether it had acted negligently) to reimburse Con Edison for certain expenses Con Edison incurred in rebuilding the electrical substation and replacing the substation equipment (the "reimbursement claim").2 The district court granted summary judgment to Port Authority. The court concluded that Con Edison's right to reimbursement under the lease did not extend to damage to the substation occurring years after completion of construction, and that the comprehensive nature of the lease precluded a separate suit by Con Edison against Port Authority based on negligence. We review a district court's interpretation of contract provisions, and its award of summary judgment based thereon, de novo. See Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Stroh Cos., 265 F.3d 97, 103–04 (2d Cir. 2001). For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the judgment in part and vacate in part.

We presume the parties' familiarity with the facts, procedural history of this case, and the issues presented on appeal, which we discuss only as necessary to explain our decision.

I. Factual Background

A. The Lease

Pursuant to a Lease Agreement dated May 29, 1968 (the "Lease"), Con Edison leased from Port Authority a trapezoidal parcel of land at Washington and Barclay Streets in lower

Manhattan for fifty years. Port Authority built an electrical power substation on the land for Con Edison to operate, to supply electricity to the then-new World Trade Center complex.

In Section 17 of the Lease, Port Authority agreed to "insure and keep insured the Substation Building to the extent of 100% of the replacement value thereof against such hazards or risks as may now or in the future be included under the standard [New York] form of fire insurance policy." Con Edison agreed to "pay the Port Authority annually an amount equal to the insurance premium or premiums paid by the Port Authority" for that coverage. In Section 18 of the Lease, Con Edison agreed to repair or rebuild the substation if it were ever damaged or destroyed, and Port Authority agreed to make the proceeds of the insurance coverage "available to [Con Edison] for the foregoing purposes." Thus, Con Edison was responsible for repairing or rebuilding the substation and for paying the insurance premiums (through Port Authority), and Port Authority would keep the substation insured and would pay any proceeds to Con Edison. In related litigation, Port Authority and its insurers agreed to value the cost of replacing the substation at $37.58 million.3

The lease anticipated that a new office tower—eventually 7WTC—would be built by Port Authority or its designee above the substation. In Section 8(a), Con Edison agreed that "the Port Authority may construct wholly or partially on, above or about the Substation Building additional stories, structures, buildings or improvements of whatsoever design, size and purpose as the Port Authority… determine[s]," and, in Section 8(b), Con Edison agreed that Port

Authority's "exercise" of the "foregoing rights" would not give rise to a claim for "eviction… nor be made the grounds of any abatement of rental nor any claim or demand for damages, consequential or otherwise."

In Section 16 of the Lease—which is the focus of Con Edison's claim for reimbursement—Port Authority agreed to reimburse Con Edison in the event that Port Authority's "acts or omissions… in connection with the construction or maintenance" of 7WTC "caused" damage to the substation building or the substation equipment.

Finally, Section 40 of the Lease, entitled "Premises," provides in subparagraph (b) that Port Authority would not be liable for any personal or property damage on the leased premises (to the lessee or any third party), except when such "damage, injury, or death [is] due to the negligence of the Port Authority." J.A.-1892 (emphasis added). Section 40(b) further provides that "nothing in this subparagraph… shall be deemed to relieve the Port Authority of its obligations [to reimburse Con Edison] under Section 16 hereof." Id.

B. 7WTC and its Tenants

In 1980, Port Authority exercised its Section 8 rights by contracting with 7 World Trade Company, L.P. ("7WTCo.") to build 7 World Trade Center above the substation. Construction of the building was completed in 1987, with Salomon Brothers, an investment bank, as its primary tenant. Salomon Brothers installed certain diesel fuel tanks and generators in the building to supply emergency back-up power to its continuously operating trading floor. In 1996, the City of New York leased space in 7WTC to house the command center of its Office of Emergency Management ("OEM"), and installed a diesel fuel tank and generator on the first and seventh floors to supply emergency power to the command center.

C. Events of September 11

At 8:46 a.m. and 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001, terrorists flew two jet passenger airplanes into Towers One and Two (the "Twin Towers") of the World Trade Center complex. The Twin Towers burned and collapsed, streaming fire and debris over the complex and over 7WTC. 7WTC burned throughout the day. The building's own diesel fuel tanks assertedly fed the fires. An adjacent water main had burst (leaving no readily available water to fight the fires). Firefighters died inside the Twin Towers. Fearing collapse of 7WTC, the fire chief made the decision to let it burn and establish a perimeter. 7WTC collapsed at 5:20 p.m., destroying Con Edison's substation (but taking no lives).

In June 2004, Con Edison erected a new substation, as Sections 15 and 18 of the lease required it to do, and restored permanent electrical services to lower Manhattan. In 2006, Silverstein Properties, Inc. completed construction of a new, forty-two-story 7WTC above the substation, which became the first tower of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex.

II. Negligence Claim

The district court interpreted the Lease to preclude Con Edison from maintaining an action against Port Authority based on Port Authority's negligence in connection with construction or maintenance of 7WTC. This was error. Con Edison's negligence claim arises at least from Port Authority's independent duty, as owner of the leased premises, to exercise reasonable care to avoid damage to persons or property thereon, see Duane Reade v. Reva Holding Corp., 30 A.D.3d 229, 236 (1st Dep't 2006) (concluding that separately pled negligent cause of action by lessee was "legally sufficient because defendants had a common-law duty, independent of any contractual obligation imposed by the lease, to exercise reasonable care in

[constructing a second story tower above the leased premises]… so as to avoid damaging the demised premises below and interfering with their use"); Sommer v. Fed. Signal Corp., 79 N.Y.2d 540, 551 (1992) ("[A] contracting party may be charged with a separate tort liability arising from a breach of a duty distinct from, or in addition to, the breach of contract." (quoting North Shore Bottling Co. v. Schmidt & Sons, 22 N.Y.2d 171, 179 (1968)), and there is nothing in the parties' lease revealing an intent to preclude such a claim.

Section 40(b) of the Lease, furthermore, implicitly recognized the availability of a negligence action by Con Edison against Port Authority to recover for damage to the leased premises. Section 40(b) is a broad exculpatory clause, relieving Port Authority from liability to Con Edison, or to any third party, for injury to persons or damage to property

at any time in or about the [leased] premises, including but not limited to… injury, death, or damage from falling material, water, rain, hail, snow, gas, steam, dampness, explosives, smoke, radiation or electricity… from any part of the Facility or from any other place or quarter.

J.A.-1892. The exculpatory clause, however, contains an exception for cases when "said damage, injury, and death shall be due to the negligence of Port Authority." Id. (emphasis added). Accordingly, we read Section 40(b) as confirmation that Con Edison retained its right to sue Port Authority for negligent conduct causing damage to the premises. See 747 Third Ave. Corp. v. Killarney, 225 A.D.2d 375, 377 (1st Dep't 1996) (reading a virtually identical lease provision as "implicitly acknowledg[ing] the landlord's liability for its own negligence").

The district court interpreted Section 40(b) as contemplating a negligence action against Port Authority only "in certain, very limited, circumstances." The district court did not explain what it believed those circumstances were, but we can infer from its ruling that they did not

include damage resulting from negligence in connection with either the construction of 7WTC or the installation of the diesel fuel tanks in the building (which together allegedly resulted in the massive fire causing the building's collapse and the destruction of the substation). We do not think such a limited reading of the negligence exception is warranted.

In our view, the district court also erred in reading another part of Section 40(b) as intending to preclude a separate negligence action against Port Authority. Section 40(b) further provides that "nothing [in this section] shall be deemed to relieve Port Authority of its obligations under Section 16" (which provides for Con Edison's right to recover for damage to the substation caused by Port Authority "in connection with the construction or maintenance of [7WTC]," irrespective of any negligence by Port Authority). According to the district court's understanding, Section 16's provision for indemnification of Con Edison by Port Authority, irrespective of any negligence by Port Authority, inferentially ruled out any further right of action premised on Port Authority's negligence at least in designing or constructing the building. We disagree. We find no basis for reading Section 40(b)'s warning that it not be read to preclude an action under Section 16 as meaning that Section 16 provided Con Edison's exclusive basis for recovering against Port Authority—especially in view of Section 40(b)'s specification that its negation of liability of Port Authority does not apply when damage is "due to the negligence of Port Authority."4 As discussed further below, we agree with the district court's

conclusion that Section 16's no-fault right of reimbursement is limited in scope to damage that Con Edison's property sustains during periods of active construction or maintenance, provided that damage is caused by the acts or omissions of Port Authority or its agents. It follows from that conclusion and from Section 40(b), that Section 16 does not preclude Con Edison from suing Port Authority in tort where Port Authority's alleged negligence causes Con Edison's property to sustain damage outside the time of active construction or maintenance. This includes the claim that Port Authority negligently designed or constructed 7WTC in a way that eventually caused damage to Con Edison's property years after the completion of active construction. In short, we conclude it was error to read the parties' lease as precluding claims by Con Edison against Port Authority premised on Port Authority's negligence in connection with the construction of 7WTC or the installation of the diesel fuel tanks in the building.5

III. Notice of Claim

Notwithstanding the Lease's preservation of Con Edison's right to sue Port Authority for damages attributable to Port Authority's negligence, Port Authority contends that at least certain claims must be dismissed by reason of Con Edison's failure to comply with certain requirements

of New York law for suits against the Port Authority. We agree.6

"The Port Authority, a bi-state agency created by a compact between New York and New Jersey, enjoyed sovereign immunity until 1951, when New York and New Jersey consented to suits against it" on the condition that certain prerequisites to suit are met. Caceres v. Port Authority, 631 F.3d 620, 624 (2d Cir. 2011). Section 7107 of New York's Unconsolidated Laws provides that the Port Authority's consent to be sued "is granted upon the condition that" any suit be "commenced within one year after the cause of action therefor shall have accrued," and further, that in any suit for the recovery or payment of money, "a notice of claim shall have been served upon the port authority" by the plaintiff at least sixty days before such suit is commenced. See N.Y. Unconsol. Laws §7107 (McKinney 2000). Section 7108 details the requried content of the notice of claim:

The notice of claim… shall set forth (1) the name and post office address of each claimant and of his attorney, if any, (2) the nature of the claim, (3) the time when, the place where and the manner in which the claim arose, and (4) the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained so far as then practicable.

§7108 (emphasis added). Sections 7107 and 7108 constitute jurisdictional prerequisites to a suit against the Port Authority, and failure to comply with them "compels the dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction." Giannone v. Port Authority, 127 A.D.2d 818, 819 (2d Dep't 1987). Taken together, the provisions of Sections 7107 and 7108 require that any such suit for damages against the Port Authority must be brought within one year of the accrual of the

claim and must be preceded by a notice specifying the nature of the claim at least sixty days prior to service of the complaint.

In September 2002, Con Edison instituted its suit against Port Authority. The suit alleged essentially two broad categories of negligence by Port Authority: (i) various forms of negligence related to the construction and placement of diesel fuel tanks, which assertedly fed the fire that ultimately consumed 7WTC and caused the destruction of Con Edison's power station; and (ii) negligence in connection with design and construction of 7WTC, which allegedly resulted in its collapse as a consequence of the fire.7

Con Edison preceded the commencement of the action by serving a notice of claim in June 2002. The notice of claim addressed in considerable detail Port Authority's alleged negligence as to the diesel fuel tanks and their role in causing the collapse of 7WTC. The June 2002 Notice, however, included no mention of an allegation of negligence in the design and construction of the building, which Con Edison later alleged made it vulnerable to collapse as a consequence of the fire. Port Authority therefore contends that, as to the allegations of negligent design or construction of the building, unrelated to the diesel fuel tanks, Con Edison failed to comply with the requirement to provide a prior notice of claim which sets forth the "nature of the claim."

We have identified no case law, specific to Section 7108, addressing the specificity with which a plaintiff must state the "nature" of its claim in order to satisfy the notice of claim

requirements of Section 7108. Illumination is provided, however, by precedent for other similar New York notice of claim provisions, such as General Municipal Law Section 50-e, which requires that prior to suit, a notice of claim be submitted to the municipality setting forth "the nature of the claim." New York courts have explained that the purpose of Section 50-e's requirement of a notice of claim is to permit the defendant to conduct a proper investigation and assess the merits of the claim. Carhart v. Village of Hamilton, 190 A.D.2d 973, 974 (3d Dep't 1993); see O'Brien v. City of Syracuse, 54 N.Y.2d 353, 358 (1981) ("The test of the notice's sufficiency is whether it includes information sufficient to enable the city to investigate the claim."). Con Edison's notice describing Port Authority's negligence in the construction and placement of the diesel fuel tanks gave the Port Authority no warning of need to investigate claims asserting unrelated negligence in the design and construction of 7WTC, notwithstanding that the specification of negligence in the June 2002 Notice included the words "among other things."8 A theory of liability not mentioned in the notice of claim generally may not be asserted by amendment or later in the litigation. See Olivera v. City of New York, 270 A.D.2d 5, 5–6 (1st Dep't 2000) (concluding that notice of claim for property damage did not give sufficient notice that motorist was also filing suit for personal injuries and refusing to permit amendment where alteration "would alter the substantive nature of claim").

Con Edison argues that its failure to give sixty days prior notice of its claims of negligent

design and construction of the building caused no conceivable harm to Port Authority, in that it pleaded the new theories within three months of its June 2002 Notice. It argues that a few months earlier awareness of its theories would have had no conceivable effect on Port Authority's preparation to defend against, or settle, Con Edison's claims. Con Edison is very likely correct that its delay from June to September of 2002 in giving Port Authority notice of its claims of defective design and construction of the building in no way prejudiced Port Authority in its preparation to defend against the claims. Nonetheless, this is immaterial. The requirement imposed by Sections 7107 and 7108 of prior notice of the nature of the claim is a jurisdictional prerequisite to suit against the Port Authority. Failure to comply is not excused by the fact that it causes Port Authority no harm. See Lyons v. Port Authority, 228 A.D.2d 250, 251 (1st Dep't 1996) ("The fact that the Port Authority may not have been prejudiced by the plaintiff's failure to comply with the statute is immaterial, since the requirement is jurisdictional and must be strictly construed." (internal citation omitted)); see also City of New York v. Port Authority, 284 A.D.2d 195 (1st Dep't 2001).

We conclude that Con Edison may prosecute its claims for negligence related to "negligent design, approval, inspection, installation, maintenance, operation, conduct and control of" the diesel fuel tanks at 7WTC, as well as any of the more ancillary acts of negligence identified in both the notice of claim and asserted in the Second Amended Complaint. However, claims of negligent design and construction of 7WTC, of which Port Authority was not reasonably notified by the June 2002 Notice, must be dismissed. We leave it to the district court to apply this rule to the various claims asserted in Con Edison's Second Amended Complaint.

IV. Reimbursement Claim

In view of our ruling that Con Edison retains its ability to sue for negligence, we find no error in the district court's conclusion that Section 16, when read in context of the Lease as a whole, provides for a no-fault right to reimbursement that is limited to damage sustained during or in the period reasonably following active construction or maintenance of the building, and that it was not intended to extend to a situation where, as alleged here, an outside event works in combination with an alleged latent design defect to cause damage to the building and its substructures years after construction has been completed. We note that the parties each had the opportunity to present to the court extrinsic evidence in support of their respective interpretations of the Lease, and we see nothing erroneous in the district court's finding that further discovery "would not add to the material facts relevant to interpretation of Section 16."

V. Conclusion

For the reasons stated above, the judgment of the district court is VACATED in part, AFFIRMED in part, and the case REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this order. Port Authority's motion to strike portions of Con Edison's reply brief is denied as moot.

Each party to the appeal will bear its own costs.

1. The Clerk of the Court is directed to amend the official caption to read as set forth above.

2. Con Edison also appealed from the district court's grant of summary judgment to Defendant The City of New York. In its January 12, 2006 Opinion and Order, the district court concluded that the City was immune from suit under the New York State Defense Emergency Act of 1951, N.Y. Unconsol. Law §9101 et seq. Aegis Insur. Servs. v. Port Auth. of New York and New Jersey, 468 F. Supp. 2d 508 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). After oral argument in this appeal, Con Edison and the City reached a settlement, and Con Edison's appeal as it related to any claims against the City was dismissed.

3. In its July 27, 2009 Opinion and Order, the district court directed Port Authority to make available immediately to Con Edison the $37.58 million amount, less a $20 million construction advance it had already made available. In re Sept. 11 Litig., 640 F. Supp.2d 323, 332 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Port Authority has not appealed from this ruling.

4. The district court also relied on Section 8 of the Lease in support of its finding that a separate negligence claim was barred. According to the district court, this section of the lease "expressly disallows any tort damages that may exceed a recovery under Section 16 of the lease." We disagree. Section 8(b) provides that Port Authority's exercise of its Section 8(a) rights to build 7WTC shall not be "construed to be an eviction of the Lessee nor be made the grounds of any abatement of rental nor any claim or demand for damages, consequential or otherwise." J.A.-1865 (emphasis added). The provision is at least fairly read to mean that Con Edison may not contest, or bring a suit for damages based upon, Port Authority's "exercise" of the right to build 7WTC above the leased premises. However, we do not read Section 8 as barring an action for negligence, as expressly authorized in Section 40.

5. Port Authority argues, in the alternative, that the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the collapse of Towers One and Two, and the fire department's decision to cease firefighting efforts at 7WTC were superseding causes operating to relieve Port Authority of any liability for damage to the substation (whether in contract or in tort). We believe this contention should be addressed by the district court in the first instance, which, prior to its grant of summary judgment in favor of Port Authority, delayed consideration of the question pending further factual development.

Accordingly, we express no view on the merits, if any, of this contention.

6. We need not consider Port Authority's argument that Con Edison failed to provide timely and adequate notice of its reimbursement claim, as this argument is mooted by our affirmance of the district court's dismissal of the reimbursement claim based on the terms of the Lease.

7. The district court appears to have ruled in the course of the proceedings below that all of Con Edison's claims, including its negligence claim, accrued on September 11, 2001. Port Authority has not argued, at least in this Court, that Con Edison's negligence claim was untimely under Section 7107, and accordingly, we express no view on the question.

8. Nor do other non-diesel fuel related theories set forth in the notice of claim, such as "failing to keep and maintain a proper lookout and watch,… failing to set up proper safeguards, barriers and fire protection; failing to properly promulgate rules and regulations; failing to set up proper and adequate training programs; the negligent and careless training of the personnel of the City of New York," give notice of Con Edison's claims of negligent design.


Related reading:

The Mysterious Leveling of Building 7

The official explanations of WTC 7's collapse are problematic for several reasons:

* Fire has never caused any steel-framed high-rise building to collapse in any manner, let alone with the vertical precision of Building 7's destruction. 1 Other steel-framed skyscrapers have experienced far more serious fires than Building 7.

* WTC 7 fell straight down, which necessitated that all of the load-bearing columns be broken at the same moment. Inflicting such damage with the precision required to prevent a building from toppling and damaging adjacent buildings is what the science of controlled demolition is all about. No random events, such as the debris damage and fires envisioned by the official reports, or explosions from fuel tanks proposed by some, could be expected to result in such a tidy and complete collapse.

* WTC 7 fell precipitously, at a rate closely approaching the speed of gravitational free-fall. That necessitated the sudden removal of structure near ground level that would have impeded its descent.

* The collapse of WTC 7 exhibited all of the features of a standard controlled demolition. To suppose that a cause other than controlled demolition could produce an event with all of the features uniquely characteristic of controlled demolition defies logic.


Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

The collapses of the three tallest WTC buildings were remarkable for their completeness, their near free-fall speed [11] their striking radial symmetry [1, 12] and the surprisingly large volume of fine toxic dust [13] that was generated. In order to better understand these features of the destruction, the authors initiated an examination of this dust. In June 2007, Dr. Steven Jones observed distinctive bi-layered chips, with both a red and a gray layer, in a sample of the WTC dust. Initially, it was suspected these might be dried paint chips, but after closer inspection and testing, it was shown that this was not the case. Further testing was then performed on the red/gray chips in an attempt to ascertain their composition and properties. The authors also obtained and examined additional samples of WTC dust which had been collected by independent observers on, or very soon after, 9/11. All of the samples examined contained these very small, peculiar red/gray chips. Previous studies discussing observations of the WTC dust include reports by the RJ Lee Company [14], the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) [15], McGee et al. [13] and Lioy et al. [16] Some of these studies con-
firmed the finding of iron-rich microspheres, which are also peculiar [5, 8, 11, 13-15] but the red/gray chips analyzed in this study have apparently not been discussed in previously published reports. It is worth emphasizing that one sample was collected about ten minutes after the collapse of the second Tower, so it cannot possibly have been contaminated by clean-up operations [17].
. . .

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in significant numbers in dust associated with the World Trade Center destruction. We have applied SEM/XEDS and other methods to characterize the small-scale structure and chemical signature of these chips, especially of their red component. The red material is most interesting and has the following characteristics:

1. It is composed of aluminum, iron, oxygen, silicon and
carbon. Lesser amounts of other potentially reactive
elements are sometimes present, such as potassium,
sulfur, lead, barium and copper.

2. The primary elements (Al, Fe, O, Si, C) are typically
all present in particles at the scale of tens to hundreds
of nanometers, and detailed XEDS mapping shows
intimate mixing.

3. On treatment with methyl ethyl ketone solvent, some
segregation of components occurred. Elemental alu-
minum became sufficiently concentrated to be clearly
identified in the pre-ignition material.

4. Iron oxide appears in faceted grains roughly 100 nm
across whereas the aluminum appears in thin plate-
like structures. The small size of the iron oxide parti-
cles qualifies the material to be characterized as nano-
thermite or super-thermite.

5. Analysis shows that iron and oxygen are present in a
ratio consistent with Fe2O3. The red material in all
four WTC dust samples was similar in this way. Iron
oxide was found in the pre-ignition material whereas
elemental iron was not.

6. From the presence of elemental aluminum and iron
oxide in the red material, we conclude that it contains
the ingredients of thermite.

7. As measured using DSC, the material ignites and re-
acts vigorously at a temperature of approximately
430 ˚C, with a rather narrow exotherm, matching
fairly closely an independent observation on a known
super-thermite sample. The low temperature of igni-
tion and the presence of iron oxide grains less than
120 nm show that the material is not conventional
thermite (which ignites at temperatures above 900 ˚C)
but very likely a form of super-thermite.

8. After igniting several red/gray chips in a DSC run to
700 ˚C, we found numerous iron-rich spheres and
spheroids in the residue, indicating that a very high-
temperature reaction had occurred, since the iron-rich
product clearly must have been molten to form these
shapes. In several spheres, elemental iron was veri-
fied since the iron content significantly exceeded the
oxygen content. We conclude that a high-temperature
reduction-oxidation reaction has occurred in the
heated chips, namely, the thermite reaction.

9. The spheroids produced by the DSC tests and by the
flame test have an XEDS signature (Al, Fe, O, Si, C)
which is depleted in carbon and aluminum relative to
the original red material. This chemical signature
strikingly matches the chemical signature of the sphe-
roids produced by igniting commercial thermite, and
also matches the signatures of many of the micro-
spheres found in the WTC dust [5].

10. The carbon content of the red material indicates that
an organic substance is present. This would be ex-
pected for super-thermite formulations in order to
produce high gas pressures upon ignition and thus
make them explosive. The nature of the organic mate-
rial in these chips merits further exploration. We note
that it is likely also an energetic material, in that the
total energy release sometimes observed in DSC tests
exceeds the theoretical maximum energy of the clas-
sic thermite reaction.

Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.


NIST Tech Briefing on WTC7

by David Chandler

The confrontations with NIST at this press conference over the issue of freefall for WTC7, together with formal written "Requests for Correction" forced NIST to reverse themselves in their final report and admit that WTC7 had undergone over 100 feet of pure freefall. The implications are huge.


My Measurement of Freefall for WTC7 [PDF]

by David Chandler

I had an opportunity to confront NIST about the easily demonstrated fact of freefall at the technical briefing on August 26, 2008. I and several other scientists and engineers also filed official "requests for correction" in the days that followed. When they released their final report in November 2008, much to the surprise of the 9/11 Truth community, they had revised their measurements of the collapse of the building, including an admission of 2.25 seconds of absolute freefall. However, they couched the period of freefall in a framework of a supposed "three phase collapse sequence" that still occupies exactly 5.4 seconds.


Remember Building 7

Remember Building 7 is a non-partisan campaign led by 9/11 family members to raise awareness of the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 through television and other forms of advertising, and to shift public opinion such that the New York City Council and Manhattan District Attorney will be compelled to open an investigation into Building 7′s destruction.


Remember Building 7 on Geraldo At Large

On November 13, Bob McIlvaine and Tony Szamboti appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s show “Geraldo At Large” on Fox News to talk about the TV ad campaign. Remember Building 7 on Geraldo At Large

Geraldo Rivera appeared on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch on November 19, 2010 to reiterate his position.

Judge Andrew Napolitano stated his position on Building 7 during an interview with Alex Jones on Nov. 24.



Siena Research Institute Poll Commissioned by “Remember Building 7” Campaign Shows Significant Skepticism of Official Account

William Brinnier, a New York architect who also appears in the TV spot, notes, “It’s remarkable that 1 out of 3 people don’t know a third building collapsed on 9/11, but it’s encouraging to see that when they are informed of the 1,500 architects and engineers who question the government’s findings, more people support a new investigation than don’t.”

Lucky Larry

Are the people who say these things anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists who don't care about National Security or the Chertoff Group?

Everyone agrees - Diesel fuel fires were not the cause

“Diesel fuel fires did not play a role in the collapse of WTC 7.“ NIST final report

But NIST should be sued for the final report.