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NIST and the World Trade Center

The collapse of New York City’s World Trade Center structures following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was the worst building disaster in recorded history, killing some 2,800 people. More than 350 fire and emergency responders were among those killed, the largest loss of life for this group in a single incident.

In response to the WTC tragedy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting a three-part plan: a 24-month building and fire safety investigation to study the factors contributing to the probable cause (or causes) of post-impact collapse of the WTC Towers (WTC 1 and 2) and WTC 7; a research and development program to provide the technical basis for improved building and fire codes, standards, and practices; and a dissemination and technical assistance program to engage leaders of the construction and building community in implementing proposed changes to practices, standards and codes. Also it will provide practical guidance and tools to better prepare facility owners, contractors, architects, engineers, emergency responders, and regulatory authorities to respond to future disasters.

This dedicated Web site will be updated regularly to keep the public, the news media, and all other interested parties current on NIST's efforts to carry out the WTC response plan.

(Note: Some reports on this page are presented in .pdf. To read these files, you can download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader free. If you have difficulty reading pdf files, you may need to update your version of Acrobat reader to the latest version. Otherwise, you may contact inquiries@nist.gov for a paper copy.)

Key News and Updates

General Contact Information

National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee

NIST WTC Investigation - General Information

Launch of NIST WTC Investigation - August 2002

Background on Related NIST Work

Photo Gallery

Archives (past news and information)

Important Links

Photo from FEMA: Flag flying at ground zero (World Trade Center)

General Contact Information

Contact NCST Advisory Committee

Anonymous Tip Line

Status of Data Collection Efforts


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For additional information, go to: WTC Contacts  |  Building and Fire Research Laboratory |  NIST

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Last updated: October 25, 2004