The following is a sampling of the eyewitness accounts of explosions just before and during Building 7’s collapse:
- Craig Bartmer, Former NYPD, and 9/11 First Responder:[i]
“All of a sudden, the radios exploded and everybody started screaming, ‘Get away, get away, get away from it!’ And, I was like a deer in the headlights. And I looked up, and…Two guys that I knew were on the transit radio. I don’t know if those tapes are out there… And I looked up, and it was nothing I would ever imagine seeing in my life. You know the thing started peeling in on itself and, I mean there was an umbrella of crap seven feet over my head that I just stared at. Somebody grabbed my shoulder and I started running, and the shit’s hitting the ground behind me. And the whole time you’re hearing, ‘THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! THOOM! THOOM!’ So, I, I think I know an explosion when I hear it, you know? So yeah, I wanna know what took that building down. I don’t think it was a fire and it certainly wasn’t a plane…It had some damage to it but nothing like what they’re saying…I am shocked at the[official] story we’ve heard about it, to be quite honest.” [Underlining emphasis added.]
- Kevin McPadden, Emergency Medical Technician, and 9/11 First Responder:[ii]
“And, at the last few seconds, he took his hand off [the radio] and you heard “3-2-1”, and he was just saying, ‘Just run for your life, just run for your life.’ And then it was like another two, three seconds, you heard explosions. Like BA-BOOOOOM! And it’s like a distinct sound…BA-BOOOOOM! And you felt a rumble in the ground, like, almost like you wanted to grab onto something. That, to me, I knew that was an explosion. There was no doubt in my mind.” [Underlining emphasis added.]
- Peter DeMarco, Daily News:[iii]
“[T]here was a rumble. The building’s top row of windows popped out. Then all the windows on the thirty-ninth floor popped out. Then the thirty-eighth floor. Pop! Pop! Pop! was all you heard until the building sunk into a rising cloud of gray.”
- First Year NYU Medical Student interviewed on 1010 Wins Radio only a few minutes after the building’s collapse, identified only by his first name, Darryl:[iv]
“We heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder. Turned around, we were shocked to see that the building was – well, it looked like there was a shock wave ripping through building, and the windows all busted out. It was horrifying. And then, about a second later the bottom floor caved out and the building followed after that. And we saw the building collapse down all the way to the ground.” [Underlining emphasis added.]
[i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uso9sCOakEQ. Starts at 2:05 into the video; ends at the 3:40.
[iii] Chris Bull and Sam Erman, Editors, “At Ground Zero: Young Reporters Who Were There Tell Their Stories,” New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2002, p. 97.
[iv] http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/wtc7_med2.wma (audio file, no visual)