Why did the world trade center collapse?-Simple analysis

Zdenk P. Baant, Yong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


This paper presents a simplified approximate analysis of the overall collapse of the towers of World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. The analysis shows that if prolonged heating caused the majority of columns of a single floor to lose their load carrying capacity, the whole tower was doomed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-6
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


  • Analysis
  • Buildings
  • Collapse
  • Disasters
  • High-rise
  • New York
  • New York City
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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