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A view of the complexDemolition squibs run up the top 6 floors of Building SevenLarry Silverstein gives the order to "pull" Building Seven
At 5:20pm on September 11th, 2001, Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex fell without logical explanation. The news said it was a "sudden collapse". Firefighters and press in the area were told to "get back" because they were going to "pull-it". ["Pulling" a building means taking it down with strategically placed demolition charges at the inner support columns so that the building falls in on its own "footprint" as to not damage the other structures in the vicinity.] It was a classic bottom-up implosion. You can actually see the demolition charges running up the top 6 floors.
Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the WTC, who just months before 9/11 had gained property rights on the entire complex and took out record insurance on it, confirms having given the "pull" order on the PBS documentary America Rebuilds. In the film Silverstein says: "I remember getting a call from 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." After getting caught in his Freudian slip, Silverstein tried saying that he meant "pull the firefighters off the blaze", but there weren't even any fighting it. Why? Because the fires were so small that there was no danger of a collapse. It's not sure how these fires even started in the first place, since 7 was two buildings away from the North Tower, so it couldn't have been damaged by falling debris and definitely didn't get hit by a plane.
Building 7 played host to then Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management command center, with the 23rd floor built in 1998 as a "bunker" with bullet and bomb-resistant windows, its own water and air supply, the ability to withstand 160mph winds, and a full commanding view of the entire WTC complex. Interestingly, on 9/11 Giuliani didn't bother to put the center to use [even though that's what it was built for] and decided to instead set up a makeshift command center down the street. Seven also served as the command center for the security of the entire WTC complex, which was headed by the President's brother, Marvin Bush, whose contract ended "coincidentally" on 9/11. WTC7's other tenants included the IRS, CIA, Secret Service, FBI, Department of Defense, and the SEC. It has been reported that several banks involved in sending money to the 9/11 hijackers had their offices there, and important files pertaining to the Enron investigation were stored there as well.
More on Building 7: READ Building 7   WATCH/READ Professional Demolition of WTC 7