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FEMA's WTC Building Performance Study

The only government entity that purported to examine the collapse of Building 7 within the year following the attack was the Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT) composed of volunteer engineers from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). That investigation was taken over by the the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in late 2001 amid complaints that the ASCE investigation was being hampered.

BPAT members have coffee
Members of the BPAT examine some of the few pieces of steel that the people running the "cleanup operation" sent their way at Fresh Kills landfill.

In May of 2002, BPAT published their World Trade Center Building Performance Study. 1   Chapter 5 of the Report is devoted to Building 7. It makes unsubstantiated claims and uses a variety of deceptive techniques to make the total collapse of Building 7 due to fires seem less implausible than it is. A copy of Chapter 5 marked up by an anonymous author exposes many of these deceptions.

The Report is inconclusive about the cause of Building 7's collapse, stating:

The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue.

By the time the Report was published, calling for further research, investigation, and analyses, nearly all of the structural steel had been recycled.


1. World Trade Center Building Performance Study, fema.gov,

page last modified: 2008-05-15
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