Contact: Scott Melnick
Chicago, IL – September 12, 2001 – The American Institute of Steel Construction, Inc. (AISC) has contacted FEMA and the leading structural engineering associations and is forming a special task force to investigate the structural collapses of the World Trade Center buildings resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
AISC is the technical institute responsible for developing and maintaining the standards for design and construction of steel buildings in the United States. Information developed by this task force will enable AISC to determine if modifications are needed in existing standards.
“AISC strives to create a steel building specification that makes use of the latest available design data and construction technology,” said Nestor R. Iwankiw, AISC’s Vice President of Engineering and Research. “The special task force of nationally recognized experts will investigate and determine the various factors that contributed to the collapses and make recommendations to AISC’s Specification, Blast and Fire Committees.”
Much speculation is currently underway about the cause of the collapses. Most engineers currently believe the collapses occurred as a result of a combination of extraordinary events, including the initial aircraft impacts and explosions, which destroyed part of the structure, and the subsequent extreme fire, which progressively weakened the remaining structure. The ensuing collapses may have occurred when the weight of the buildings above the points of impact exceeded the reduced load carrying capacity of the remaining structure. It is believed that the collapse of the 47-story building adjacent to the twin towers was caused by a combination of its foundations and structure being weakened by the collapsing twin towers and fire.
“We’re saddened about this terrible disaster and the loss of life,” said AISC President H. Louis Gurthet, P.E. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.”