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Witnesses saw explosions and flashes of light


More than a hundred firsthand witnesses saw explosions and flashes of light0.


The claim can be found on a flyer from, the Danish Truth Movement. The claim is based on interviews with people on the streets near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. These people have heard explosions of some kind1. The Truth Movement uses this claim to support the conspiracy theory that the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 were destroyed with nanothermite and explosives.


There is nothing documenting explosions immediately before and during the collapses of the World Trade Center 1 and 2.

When the planes hit the World Trade Center 1 and 2, the jet fuel exploded, about 37,000 liters2, creating two enormous fireballs. A large part of the fuel entered elevator shafts, service shafts and all the way down to the foyer and the basement.

There were several natural explosions while the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 were on fire, both inside the buildings, from computer monitors (in 2001, monitors were cathode ray and not flatscreens), compressed air containers, and other inventory, and outside the buildings from other burning buildings in the World Trade Center complex, burning cars and rescue trucks where the tires, fuel tanks, and other equipment exploded.

There were no explosions in connection with or leading up to the collapse itself. Countless video recordings of the collapse also confirm this.

The isolated small flashes of light seen in some videos are shattered glass reflecting the sunlight.


Interestingly, the claim does not mention witnesses who heard the claimed explosions. When buildings are destroyed by professional experts, it is always possible to hear enormous rhythmic booms from the explosions blowing away supporting building elements, causing the building to collapse.

The following videos demonstrate clearly that none of the World Trade Center 1, 2, or 7 were controlled demolitions. They also show that controlled demolitions are not defined by always resulting in symmetrical collapses where the building falls into its own footprint, a claim often made by conspiracy theorists:

Controlled Demolition, Inc., The Loizeaux Group LLC

Video, YouTube

Video, YouTube

Video, YouTube

Video, YouTube

When explosive material detonates, the surrounding air is pushed away with enormous force, depending on what explosive material is used. The retired Danish professor in chemistry, Niels Harrit, points in his lectures about the terror attack on September 11, 2001, to RDX4. When detonated, the explosive creates a shockwave moving at about 8,750 m/s, or more than 25 times the speed of sound5.

A shockwave of that magnitude would result in such a loud boom that nobody would miss hearing it. Evidentially, this did not happen (video).

In his lectures, Niels Harrit even shows a controlled demolition, where the rhythmic booms from the detonations are clearly heard. Thus, he proves himself wrong, when he claims that the destruction of the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 were controlled demolitions6.

Explosions happen over time

A more serious problem is that the time of the “explosions” stretches from the planes impacting the World Trade Center 1 and 2 until the collapses themselves. In the case of the World Trade Center 1, this takes 102 minutes, and in the case of the World Trade Center 2, 56 minutes. If the World Trade Center 1 and 2 were destroyed by controlled demolitions, it must mean that the buildings were blown up in a quite unorthodox method over time, where the explosives had been placed and detonated in a completely random fashion throughout the buildings.

This is primarily a quite absurd method to blow up buildings, especially if the goal is to make it look like a natural collapse. Secondly, it contradicts another central claim, namely that the collapses were sudden and unexpected thereby indicating that they were typical controlled demolitions.

The Truth Movement thus argues that because many witnesses told of explosions over time, it is evidence that the buildings were blown up instantaneously.


The claim is therefore:

  • False
  • Undocumented
  • Self-contradicting


  1. Løbeseddel fra i11timeCredible Sources Such As New York Firefighters And Law Enforcement Officers,
  2. Brandmænd, der taler om eksplosioner
    Kavalkade over eksplosioner hørt på gaden
    William Rodriguez
  3. NIST NCSTAR 1: Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Tower, side 24
  4. Pruitt-Igoe, Wikipedia
    A brief historical and theoretical review of Pruitt Igoe, YouTube
  5. RDX, Wikipedia
  6. Lydens hastighed, Wikipedia
  7. Niels Harrit, Det Syvende Tårn, foredrag, Ridehuset 28 feb. 2010:

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