World Trade Center Debris Pile Mass and Volume

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World Trade Center Mass And Potential Energy

World Trade Center Debris Field Distribution

World Trade Center Building Contents

That's when we saw the incredible things that took place and the amount of bravery that everybody was taking to try and help as best as they can. Bucket lines and people digging. Debris was incredible, how much of it was across the street. You couldn't even tell the street from the sidewalk. It didn't look like a big pile at first, but you realized it later on because it was a gradual outlaying of material. It gradually increased in height as you went along, so it was like climbing a hill, you really don't know how high you are until you are up there.

Q. The perception wasn't real till you saw firemen standing on the pile. You could barely see them.

A. Barely see them.

Q. Then you have a perception of the mass that was there.

A. How deep it was. And how high it is. I mean you were actually standing sometimes 15, 20 stories up. It wasn't that much of a fall, because there was a lot of material along the way. -Firefighter Fred Marsilla

8.1 Appendix 1: Calculation of Debris Amount

While it is difficult to know exactly what was removed from ground zero, there are numerous articles describing damage to the WTC complex and the surrounding areas. There are also numerous photographs available on the internet of the damage as well as the progress of the cleanup at various stages. The calculation shown in Table 17 is a very rough estimate based on a wide range of sources. Sources are not cited as they are too numerous for the scope of this study. Photos are not included because of usage rights issues. Further study could include a detailed analysis of the debris as well as complete presentation of motivations for assumptions as well as detailed sourcing. (MassAndPeWtc.pdf)

New York City has awarded contracts to two private scrap dealers to handle 50,000 tons of steel. Additional contracts are expected to be awarded to private scrap dealers for another 60,000 tons of structural steel, says George Wittich, senior vice president of Weeks Marine Inc., Cranford, N.J. (

Most of the concrete from the WTC site was pulverized into dust in the Sept. 11 attacks. But huge amounts of structural steel remained scattered in tangled heaps, says Allen Morse, USACE chief debris expert and FEMA technical advisor. (

At press time [Nov 1, 2001], the amount of debris taken to Fresh Kills totaled nearly 215,000 tons, or approximately 10,000 tons per day. Total estimated debris was 1.2 million tons, including 16,000 truckloads. (

Collection and storage of steel members from the WTC site was not part of the BPS Team efforts sponsored by FEMA and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). SEAoNY offered to organize a volunteer team of SEAoNY engineers to collect certain WTC steel pieces for future building performance studies. Visiting Ground Zero in early October 2001, SEAoNY engineers, with the assistance from the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), identified and set aside some steel pieces for further study. Of the estimated 1.5 million tons of WTC concrete, steel, and other debris, more than 350,000 tons of steel have been extracted from Ground Zero and barged or trucked to salvage yards where it is cut up for recycling. (

The [May 30th 2002] ceremony marked the end of cleanup efforts after eight months and 108,342 truckloads of debris. The cleanup was originally estimated to last a year. (

Hundreds of workers labored around the clock since September 11 to reclaim the bodies of those who died in the attack and to remove the 1.6 million tons of steel and concrete left behind. (

The total weight of structural steel in the each WTC tower is approximently 100,000 short tons. (MassAndPeWtc.pdf)

The initial debris estimate included 125,000 tons of glass, 250,000 of tons of steel, 450,000 cubic yards of concrete, 12,000 miles of electrical cable, and 198 miles of ductwork. Trade Center Forensic Recovery.pdf

The last debris was processed on July 26, 2002, day 321 of the project. At the close of the Staten Island Landfill mission:

• 1,462,000 tons of debris had been received and processed

• 35,000 tons of steel had been removed (165,000 tons were removed directly at Ground Zero)

• 806,000 tons of debris had been screened, an average of 75 tons per hour

• 14,968 workers had been through the PPE process

• 43,600 people (39,795 NYPD, 6,212 non-NYPD) had been through the Site Specific Indoctrination

• Over 1.7 million man hours had been worked

• Over 55,000 discrete pieces of evidence had been recovered

• 4,257 body parts had been recovered

• 209 victims had been positively identified

Trade Center Forensic Recovery.pdf

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