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Will Skyscrapers Stand Up To Air Bombing ?

NEW YORK, August 1. Will skyscrapers stand up to air attacks? Data on which this question may be answered should be provided by investigation of the recent crash of the twin-engined Mitchell bomber into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, New York. Fifteen tons plunged into New York's largest structure at a speed of 250 miles an hour. High octane gasoline exploded simultaneously, and six oxygen tanks, each weighing 5001b, burst open to feed the flames to fabulous heat. Eleven .people died in this first awful burst of fire. One engine, weighing a ton, tore through concrete and steel walls and fell 79 floors down the lift-shaft, smashing a car lying at the bottom. The wreckage is still an indescribable mess. Building Structurally Intact The second engine slashed through the outside wall, tore through two more concrete walls, and hopped across a 7ft fire-tower. Finally, its energy spent, it came to rest against an iron railing, barely scratching the next wall. Landing-gear, weighing 10001b, went through the entire building, which covers a city block, tore through seven walls, and hurtled across the street. It finally landed through the roof of a building 70 floors below. Yet, despite these tremendous impacts, the great building remains structurally intact. It swayed from four to six inches, thereby absorbing the shock like a boxer rolling with a punch. No column was affected in the slightest degree. No beams were affected on the floors above and below the point of impact. Engineers throughout the world will eagerly await a full scientific report and architecture may well be influenced by the findings of the investigation. The only men who could definitely clear up the mystery—the crew of the plane—are dead. Two or three people have reported that one engine of the plane was misfiring before the crash, but the overwhelming majority of witnesses insist that both motors were turning over sweetly as the plane weaved its snicidal way through the towering skyscrapers. One plausible explanation is that the pilot, peering through the swirling mists, saw a river below him and thought it was the Hudson, on the far side of New York.

[Such oJ the cable news on this page ar Is s-i designated has appeared in The Times, and is sent to this paper by special permission. It should Re understood that the opinions are not those of The Times unless stated lo be so.]

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Bibliographic details

NEW YORK CRASH, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945

Word Count

NEW YORK CRASH Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945

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