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Shortly before the building collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con-Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein, the property developer of One World Financial Center was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building – since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall. [FOXNews]

WTC 7: Silverstein's "Pull It"
Explanation Examined

On September 9, 2005, Mr. Dara McQuillan, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, issued the following statement [on the issue of Larry Silverstein's "pull it" comment]:

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. ...

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 building.

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. [US Department of State]

There is a problem with the above statement, namely there were no firefighters in WTC 7:

  • "No manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY." [Fema Report]
  • "There was no firefighting in WTC 7." [Popular Mechanics]
  • "By 11:30 a.m., the fire commander in charge of that area, Assistant Chief Frank Fellini, ordered firefighters away from [WTC 7] for safety reasons." [New York Times]

Let's have a look at Silverstein's full statement:

"I remember getting a call from the 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."

WMV video download (490kB)

In summary, the fire department commander said the fire could not be contained, Silverstein said "the smartest thing to do is pull it", and the fire department made the decision to pull.

"Pull" is a term used in building demolition, but the US Department of State contends that Silverstein's "pull it" statement refers to withdrawing firefighters from WTC 7. If this was the case then firefighters should have received a message which said something like "World Trade 7 is unsafe. Abandon the building and withdraw from the area."

Let's have a look at the language used by firefighters withdrawing from the area of WTC 7:

"It's blowin' boy." ... "Keep your eye on that building, it'll be coming down soon." ... "The building is about to blow up, move it back." ... "Here we are walking back. There's a building, about to blow up..."


WMV video download (1 MB)

The above indicates the message received by the firefighters was "We are going to demolish 7 World Trade. Clear the area."

INDRA SINGH EMT: "...by noon or one o'clock they told us we need to move from that triage site up to Pace University a little further away because Building 7 was going to come down or be brought down."

HOST: "Did they actually use the word "brought down" and who was it that was telling you this?"

SINGH: "The fire department. And they did use the words '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 possibility..." [Prison Planet]

Explosions were heard as the building came down.

CRAIG BARTMER NYPD: "I walked around it (Building 7). I saw a hole. I didn't see a hole bad enough to knock a building down, though. Yeah there was definitely fire in the building, but I didn't hear any... I didn't hear any creaking, or... I didn't hear any indication that it was going to come down. And all of a sudden the radios exploded and everyone started screaming 'get away, get away, get away from it!'... It was at that moment... I looked up, and it was nothing I would ever imagine seeing in my life. The thing started pealing in on itself... Somebody grabbed my shoulder and I started running, and the shit's hitting the ground behind me, and the whole time you're hearing "boom, boom, boom, boom, boom." I think I know an explosion when I hear it... Yeah it had some damage to it, but nothing like what they're saying... Nothing to account for what we saw..." [Prison Planet]

The statement by Silverstein Properties and the US Department of State also contends that no deaths occurred in WTC 7 because "pull it" was an evacuation order. This is factually incorrect:

Speakers for voice evacuation announcements were located throughout the building and were activated manually at the Fire Control Center (FCC) [WTC 7 Report]

The video on the right demonstrates the speaker volume in WTC 7. It would be impossible to miss an evacuation order.

"...I'm on top of building 7 just pulling out rubbish. Pulled out a Port Authority cop at about 11 o'clock in the morning..."

WMV video download (597kB)

"When 7 World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, an agent on loan from Washington, special officer Craig Miller, perished..." [PDF download (link expired)]

"The Secret Service New York Field Office was located in 7 World Trade Center ... Master Special Officer Craig Miller, died during the rescue efforts." [PDF download]

Madam Speaker, Building 7 of the World Trade Center housed a number of Federal Government offices, including the IRS, the EEOC, the Defense Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the New York field office of the United States Secret Service. The field office was destroyed on September 11 and, tragically, Master Special Officer Craig Miller lost his life when the building collapsed. [Congressional Record]

See also:

Larry Silverstein, WTC 7, and the 9/11 Demolition
The 9/11 WTC Collapses: An Audio-Video Analysis

What Really Happened