Firefighting

COLLAPSE LESSONS

Issue 10 and Volume 155.

BY NORMAN J. GLOVER, P.E., R.A., FASCE FIStructE On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber accidentally struck the north face of the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, then the tallest building in the world. The plane ripped an 18-foot-wide 2 20-foot-high hole in the outer wall of the building. The force of the impact sheared the wings from the plane and propelled one of the two engines through the building and out the opposite wall. It then struck the 12th-story roof of a building across 32nd Street, where it ignited a destructive fire. The other engine fell into an elevator shaft and down to the subcellar. The fuel emptied from the ruptured tanks, ignited, and killed most of the 13 ensuing casualties, including the three-man flight crew. The 35,000-pound gross weight of the plane and its 1,000 gallons of gasoline were traveling at some 275 mph when they…

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