NOVA Online (see text links below)
Above the Impact: A Survivor's Story Towers of Innovation The Collapse: An Engineer's Perspective Outfitting Firefighters The Structure of Metal
Video: NOVA News Minutes World Trade Center Award
Welcome to the companion Web site to "Why the Towers Fell," originally broadcast on April 30, 2002. The program follows a team of forensic engineers during their in-depth investigation of the precise causes of the Twin Towers' collapse. Here's what you'll find online:
  • Deconstructing the Towers' Collapse (Video)
    Watch a brief news piece that uses computer animations to illustrate how the Twin Towers might have fallen.

  • Towers of Innovation
    A basement like a bathtub. A building like a tube. An elevator system like a subway system. These are just some of the engineering marvels that made the quarter-mile-tall World Trade Center possible.

  • The Collapse: An Engineer's Perspective
    In this interview, Dr. Thomas Eagar, a professor of materials engineering and engineering systems at MIT, explains how and why the Twin Towers survived the initial impact -- and how and why they likely failed in the end.

  • Above the Impact: A Survivor's Story
    Brian Clark was one of only a handful of individuals to escape either tower from above the floors where the planes struck. Here, Clark tells his riveting, vividly personal tale.

  • Outfitting Firefighters
    The firefighters that raced up the stairwells of the doomed towers carried several dozen pounds of equipment, everything from axes and turnout gear to thermal imaging cameras and self-contained breathing apparatuses. In this feature, equip firefighters for a high-rise response.

  • The Structure of Metal (Hot Science)
    Explore metal at the atomic level and discover how it's structured, why it bends, and what happens when it heats up.

  • Letters
    Send us your thoughts on "Why the Towers Fell," either the program or the Web site. We'll post selected letters here.

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Towers of Innovation | The Collapse | Above the Impact
Outfitting Firefighters | The Structure of Metal | Letters
Resources | Transcript | Site Map

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