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Glasgow tower block to shed light on 9/11 fire

A PROFESSOR of engineering is to destroy a Glasgow tower block in an effort to understand why the Twin Towers collapsed in the 9/11 attacks.

Jose Torero, Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at Edinburgh University, will set the disused building in the east end of Glasgow alight and study the effects.

He and his team will fill a room in the tower with hundreds of pounds of sophisticated equipment, including heat and light sensors, along with nine miles of cable in an effort to examine the effects of a raging fire in a multi-story tower block.

His colleagues will also be able to open and close windows while the fire is raging in order to study the behaviour of the blaze.

The disused tower block is at Millerfield Place in the Dalmarnock area of Glasgow. It was built in 1964 but has lain disused for more than a decade.

The Peruvian-born academic is one of a number of experts across the world who believes that the Twin Towers should have stayed up after they were hit by hijacked airliners on September 11 2001.

Torero believes that by studying why the buildings did collapse, future structures can be made safer.

He said: "Those buildings should have withstood burnout. From my perspective, those buildings were designed to last structurally for between three to four hours, enough time to get everyone out who had survived. At least that's what you expect."

Further studies since 9/11 have indicated that the key to the Twin Towers' collapse may have been the fact that the fires raged through several floors. Experts now want to understand why the fires spread so quickly and how to stop it happening in future.

Torero, who previously taught at the University of California at Berkeley, said: "If you allow the fire to grow through several floors the building will come down.

"The concept is that if we can get an accurate idea of what is happening inside the building, I can lead people to safety and minimise the growth of the fire.

"Basically, you want to make buildings foolproof in the case of an emergency so that people don't have to think - they will simply be told what to do. We'll take the human factor out of the equation as far as possible."

 
 
 

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