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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 08:13 UK

Timeline: WTC 7

Key events leading up to and following the collapse of the World Trade Centre Building 7.

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5 August New York Port Authority begins groundbreaking for the construction of the World Trade Center Plaza and its six buildings. Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) May 2002 Chapter 1-2


Con Edison electricity substation constructed on the site of WTC 7 (National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist), June 2004. Appendix L)


Construction starts on World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7). (Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) May 2002 Chapter 1-2 and Chapter 5-1)


The original World Trade Centre 7 opens.


26 February A 1,500 pound bomb in a rental van is detonated on a parking garage ramp beneath the Twin Towers.

Six people are killed and more than 1,000 injured. The 9/11 Commission says the terrorist attack "exposed vulnerabilities in the WTC's and the city's emergency preparedness." (The 9/11 Commission Report p280)


7 June The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) - located on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Centre 7 - is opened. It is a command centre to co-ordinate New York's response to emergencies from severe storms to terrorist attacks.


11 September

0646 The fire alarm system for World Trade Centre 7 is "placed on test" because of "routine maintenance".

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Nist notes that: "Under test conditions (1) the system is typically disabled for the entire building, not just for the area where work is being performed, and (2) alarm signals typically do not show up on an operator console." (Final Report on the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers)

0759 American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Boston's Logan International Airport. (Fema May 2002 Chapter 1.4 and The 9/11 Commission Report p4 )

0814 United Airlines Flight 175 leaves Boston. (Fema May 2002 Chapter 1-4 and The 9/11 Commission Report p7)

0846 WTC 1 struck by American Airlines Flight 11 - carrying around 10,000 gallons of jet fuel. (Fema Chapter 2-15)

0848 Officials in OEM HQ on 23rd floor of WTC 7 begin to activate the Emergency Operations Centre by calling agencies such as FDNY, NYPD, Dept of Health and instructing them to send their reps to OEM. Fema is also called and asked to send at least five federal Urban Search and Rescue Teams. (The 9/11 Commission Report p293)

0903 A second Boeing 767 laden with jet fuel hits the South Tower. Shortly afterwards all the civilians are evacuated from WTC7.

Around 0930 The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management located on the 23rd floor of World Trade Centre 7 is evacuated.

0959 The South Tower, WTC 2, collapses. According to Fema: (World Trade Centre Building Performance Study. Chapter 5, page 16) "It appears that the collapse of WTC 2 did not significantly affect the roof, or the east, west and north elevations of WTC 7. It is unknown whether there was any damage to the south elevation."

Nist says after the collapse of WTC 2: "Some south face glass panes were broken at lower lobby floors. Dust covered the lobby areas at floors 1 and 3. Power was on in the building and phones were working. No fires were observed." (Nist interim report on WTC 7. Appendix L-17)

1000:52 According to Nist: "The fire alarm system that was monitoring WTC 7 sent to the monitoring company only one signal indicating a fire condition in the building on September 11, 2001. This signal did not contain any specific information about the location of the fire within the building." (Nist interim report on WTC 7, Chapter 1. Page 28 )

1028 The North Tower, WTC 1, collapses.

Nist notes that: "Heavy debris (exterior panels from WTC 1) seen on Vesey Street and the WTC 7 promenade structure at the third floor level. Southwest corner damage extends over Floors 8 to 18. Damage was observed on the south face that starts at the roof level and severed the spandrels between exterior columns near the southwest corner for at least five to 10 floors." However, the full extent and details of this damage are obscured by large amounts of smoke. (Nist interim report on WTC 7. Appendix L)

1210 to 1215 Nist says that: "Fire fighters found individuals on floors 7 and 8 and lead them out of the building. No fires, heavy dust or smoke were reported as they left floor 8". Although fire is seen "along west wall on floor heavy debris was observed in the lobby area as the building was exited, primarily white dust coating and black wires hanging from ceiling areas was observed." (NIST interim report on WTC 7. Appendix L.1.8)

Emergency responder, Barry Jennings escapes the building around this time.

Around 1230 Deputy Director of the OEM, Richard Rotanz has to make an assessment on the damage to WTC 7. On the exterior he sees the upper 10-15 floors of Tower 7 on fire. "The skin of the building or the outside skirt of the building was taken out, he says. "You see columns gone. You see floors damaged and you see heavy black smoke and fire."

He then enters the WTC 7. "At the time the building wasn't safe but we had to make an assessment, just the same, and we didn't spend that long. You could hear the building creak above us, you could hear things fall, you could hear the fire burning. You could see columns just hanging from the upper floors, gaping holes in the floors up above us.

"There was an elevator car that was blown out of the shaft and it was down the hall. This is the massive impact of Tower 1 onto Tower 7."

Around 1400 According to Nist: "Around 2pm fires were observed in photographic and videographic records to be burning across floors 11 and 12 on the east face, from the south to the north." (Nist interim report on WTC 7, Chapter 1. Page 18 )

Around 1500 Chief Daniel Nigro of FDNY takes the decision to make an evacuation zone around Tower 7 in case of collapse.

Everybody is pulled away and rescue efforts in this zone are stopped, Nigro later says: "The biggest decision was to make an evacuation zone around building seven, to pull everyone away to stop the rescue efforts that were going on which was very difficult to do because there were people trapped still and to step back, to step back and wait."

According to Nist: "Around 3pm fires were observed on floors 7 and 12 along the north face. The fire on floor 12 appeared to bypass the northeast corner and was first observed at a point approximately one third of the width of the building from the northeast corner, and then spread both east and west across the north face." (Nist interim report on WTC 7, Chapter 1. Page 18 )

After 1500 "Sometime later [than 3pm], fires were observed on floors 8 and 13 with the fire on floor 8 moving from west to east and the fire on floor 13 moving from east to west. At this time, the fire on floor 7 appeared to have stopped progressing near the middle of the north face.

"The fire on floor 8 continued to move east on the north face, eventually reaching the northeast corner and moving to the east face." (NIST interim report on WTC 7, Chapter 1. Page 18)

Around 1645 "Around 4.45pm a photograph showed fires on floors 7, 8, 9, and 11 near the middle; floor 12 was burned out by this time. Interview responses indicate that there was no water in the standpipe system supplying the sprinklers in WTC 7." (Nist interim report on WTC 7, Chapter 1. Page 18 )

1721 World Trade Centre 7 collapses. (Nist L - 17) Nist interim report on WTC 7. Appendix L.1.7)

12 September Investigators for the first inquiry by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) into the collapse of the World Trade Centre buildings are named. And some soon begin to arrive on the site to help in the rescue effort at first.


Construction of the new World Trade Centre begins

May Fema Building Performance Report published. (World Trade Centre Building Performance Study Chapter 5)


June National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nist) Progress Report published. (Nist interim report on WTC 7. Appendix L)

22 July The 9/11 Commission Report is published. (9/11 Commission Report)


23 May The new Seven World Trade Centre is officially opened.


21 August The final NIST report into the collapse of WTC7 is published. (Nist report)

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