A team of Norwegian scientists claimed that an explosive chemical reaction may have been responsible for collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.
They said molten aluminium from the aircraft flown by the terrorists combined with water from fire sprinklers and caused a powerful explosion.
The 9/11 Commission – the official probe into the outrage – concluded that the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001 because the planes flown by terrorists caused ‘Total Progressive Collapse’ in both.
While the Norwegians do not dispute that general picture, they do say it does not explain the whole story.
That another theory could emerge a decade after 9/11 will stoke the many conspiracy theories around the collapse of the World Trade Center.
Over the years some have suggested it was the work of the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq or even to allow traders to make a fortune by betting against the stock market.
Christian Simensen of the Norwegian Research Institute SINTEF, however, said that the terrorists’ planes were to blame.
His theory, presented at a technology conference in San Diego, is that when the planes went into the towers, they were trapped between floors which created a kiln-like effect.
This would have quickly pushed temperatures well past the melting point of their aluminium shell.
The melted aluminium would have run down to the lower floors where it mixed with water and caused temperatures to spike to 2,700 degrees and fire off explosive hydrogen.
These hydrogen blasts would have been enough to blow out sections of the building whilst the high temperatures would have weakened the steel supports.
Simensen said this was consistent with the official explanation of ‘Total Progressive Collapse’ in which the top floors of a Twin Towers fell in on themselves and put so much pressure on the floors below them that they collapsed too.
The bottom floors then hit the ground first, followed by the upper floors on top of them.
Simensen was unable, however, to shed any more light on what happened to the neighbouring 7 World Trade Center building that later on September 11, despite not being hit by a hijacked aeroplane.