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NOVA; Why The Towers Fell



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Why The Towers Fell
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

For most Americans, the image of the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers was not only a scene of unforgettable horror, it was a moment of unimaginable consequence. Who could have guessed that a steel structure of such size and strength could actually be reduced to 150 feet of rubble? NOVA follows a team of forensic engineers during their investigation of the causes of the Twin Towers' collapse. Featuring many of this country’s best structural engineers including Gene Corley, the lead investigator on the Oklahoma City bombing; Charles Thornton, the builder of the Petronas Towers (the world’s tallest building); and Mark Loiseaux, the leading expert on the “purposeful” demolition of big buildings, the program takes viewers through the process by which these professionals came to understand the how’s and why’s of one of modern America’s greatest tragedies. Also presented are several of the buildings’ survivors, who tell compelling real-life stories of their harrowing journeys to safety, including three firemen who miraculously escaped death as Tower #2 collapsed around them. With rare, video-enhanced footage showing details of the buildings’ structural damage never before seen on TV, and detailed animation sequences that let viewers “see through” the buildings to the damage that had occurred inside, this NOVA promises to be one of its most harrowing and memorable hours.



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Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Why The Towers Fell,” 04/24/2002, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 24, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_AE10F05C13E548E4A9C0877231F280B3.
MLA: “NOVA; Why The Towers Fell.” 04/24/2002. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 24, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_AE10F05C13E548E4A9C0877231F280B3>.
APA: NOVA; Why The Towers Fell. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_AE10F05C13E548E4A9C0877231F280B3
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