Working for the Los Angeles Times, I had arrived at the World Trade Center as the South and North Tower were making their rapid and deadly descents in the morning. That afternoon, I called in a series of reports to a staffer in the New York bureau.
I was literally on the phone with the office at 5:21 p.m., describing the fires burning in the structure as the building began?and completed? its remarkably fast, smooth descent to the ground. I described the building neatly pancaking, and the Pulitzer Prize winner on the other end taking my dictation declared: "That sounds like a controlled demolition."
In fact, I have seen controlled demolitions before and since?and indeed, that was exactly what the destruction of Building 7 looked like, except perhaps for a marginally slower collapse of the top portion
As with most people, I was baffled by how Building 7?a smaller, 47-story tower that had not been hit by a plane and was separated from the Twin Towers by low-rise buildings?would come down at all. It just made no sense.