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Videotape Could Explain Tower's Fall

September 08, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Federal officials investigating the destruction of the World Trade Center said Sunday that they hope a newly surfaced videotape showing both hijacked planes hitting the towers will shed light on why the north tower collapsed.

"You could use it to determine the speed of the plane as it approached the building," said Michael Newman, a spokesman for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the agency investigating the collapse of the 110-story towers. "That gives us information that we can use to determine a number of different factors."

The tape's existence was first reported by the New York Times nearly two years after the terrorist attack that felled the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

It is the only videotape known to have captured images of both planes hitting the trade center. And while numerous videos and photos have provided details on the high-speed impact into the south tower, it is only the second showing the first strike, into the north tower.

The tape was shot by a Czech immigrant construction worker.

Newman said the agency is trying to obtain a copy of the hourlong tape, parts of which aired Sunday on ABC.

"Any visual documentation we can get of the events of 9/11 is valuable," Newman said.

Walter Karling, a freelance photographer who is acting as an agent for the man who shot the video footage, Pavel Hlava, said Sunday that he could not comment on whether the tape would be turned over to investigators.

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