The following is a sampling of eyewitness accounts of explosions just before and during Building 7’s collapse:

Ashleigh Banfield, reporting for MSNBC, heard a loud sound from several blocks away prior to Building 7’s collapse, turned toward the building, and said:1

“Oh my god! Look behind us. Please pan in this way, please… This is it.” [Then there is a crescendo of cries from fearful onlookers as the building begins coming down and a man’s voice is heard saying, “That’s the building coming down.”] 

Craig Bartmer, Former NYPD, and 9/11 First Responder:2

“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.”

Kevin McPadden, Emergency Medical Technician, and 9/11 First Responder:3

“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.”

Peter DeMarco, Daily News:4

“[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:5

“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.”


[2] Starts at 2:05 into the video; ends at the 3:40.


[4] 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.

[5] (audio file, no visual)