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"The crashes left fiery gaping holes in the 110 story buildings. Then about an hour after that there was a huge explosion at the base of the south tower..."

Smoke and Explosions
at the Base of WTC 2

"I guess about three minutes later you just heard explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions." [Craig Carlsen -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]

Video documenting nine explosions at the base of WTC 2 prior to its collapse:

WMV video dowenload (2.8 MB)

Smoke at the base of WTC 2 [NIST NCSTAR 1-8]:

This video shows dense white smoke rising from the base of WTC 2:

"...all of a sudden the ground just started shaking. It felt like a train was running under my feet. ... The next thing we know, we look up and the tower is collapsing." [Paul Curran, Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]
"Shortly before the first tower came down I remember feeling the ground shaking. I heard a terrible noise, and then debris just started flying everywhere. People started running...." [Bradley Mann, Lieutenant (E.M.S.)]
"I don't know where to begin ... Let's just tell you what we went through at the time the first collapse occurred. We were 2 blocks away ... when all of a sudden we hear a rumble ... it felt like an earthquake ... we have no idea what it is ... someone says 'subway' and all of us put it together and we say the attack is now perhaps the subway underneath us."

As Ron DiFrancesco ran away [from WTC 2] he was hit by a fireball ... he was probably the last person out alive. "I saw the fireball and heard a loud noise. That's all I remember..."

WMV video download (291kB)

"All of a sudden I heard a roar and I saw one of the towers blow ... I saw from street level as though it exploded up, a giant rolling ball of flame..."

WMV video download (392kB)

Same reporter: "I hear simultaneously this roar and see what appears to be a gigantic fireball rising up at ground level . . . I remember seeing this giant ball of fire come out of the earth as I heard this roar" [Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11 - P 239]

Suddenly the hallway began to shudder as a terrible deafening roar swept over them. That's when Will saw the giant fireball explode in the street. [bowhunter.com]

"...and I looked out the window cos the windows exploded and the street below caved in. The whole street caved in. You could see below the street, and at that point there was like fireballs coming up..."

The following video shows jets of white smoke blasting up from below ground during the collapse of WTC 2. .

Survivor in WTC 1 stairwell during WTC 2 collapse: "...and all of a sudden this huge cloud of dark grey smoke comes shooting up the stairway ... and it was hot - very, very hot."

WMV video download (201kB)

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"It was like a blizzard, but a blizzard that wasn't cold, a blizzard that had no wind, it was just hot."

See also: Thermite and the WTC Collapses

What Really Happened