Bombs?  Not literally
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The story...

WTC testimony about bombs and explosions shows explosives brought down the towers.

Our take...

Does it? People use these words for many reasons, not always literally. Or accurately. And it may not be clear which is which. Take these accounts, for instance. Do the witnesses really believe they heard a bomb, or just a loud noise that was “like” a bomb?

"Then I heard the power transformer blow and it sounded like a bomb went off," Jill said.

...laying on the floor when a, about two and a half foot diamter and about forty-five feet long tree crashed into the house, and it sounded like a bomb went off
[Hurricane Rita survivor]

About 1:30 a.m., Jolanta Haney , 57, awoke to a loud crash when a pecan tree crashed through her bedroom ceiling.

"It sounded like a bomb," the Uptown resident said. "The whole house was shaking. I was thinking, 'God save us.' " [broken]

Now read the next account. Is this a bomb?

"The noise was horrendous. It was like nothing I've ever heard. Our fridge was flipped on its side, a heavy three-seater sofa was thrown across the lounge, ceilings were ripped open, windows exploded out of their frames, cupboards were completely emptied, and broken ornaments and crockery littered the floor....

It was like an explosion underneath us. The house was shunted up in the air and then it shook violently. A lot of houses were knocked clean off their piles"

Could be compelling testimony if it were snipped and added to others. The only problem is it's about an earthquake, not a bomb at all.

This story shows what witnesses thought when the ground collapsed around a Singapore highway. There were no bombs, but you might not believe that from the reports.

Several callers to The Straits Times said they heard an explosion, while others reported blackouts. Though some eyewitnesses said they saw flames flash across Nicoll Highway, the LTA said it had no evidence of an explosion.

When leaking gas was detected, Power Gas shut off the supply to the severed pipe, said Mr Rajan Krishnan, LTA’s director of projects, at a news conference last night. The loud sound of the collapsing wall ‘might have sounded like an explosion’, he said.

The huge boom which sounded at 3.30pm sent many office workers scurrying to their windows, to be stunned by what they saw.

...Mr Vincent Chan, 28, said he heard a loud sound ‘like a huge aircraft approaching the building’.

Ms Sirirat... heard a loud bang. ‘I saw many women running out of their shops,’ she said. ‘They said: ‘Gas explosion! Run for your life’. So I followed them. I thought it was a bomb.’

Another 9/11 accounts describes how traumatised Pentagon survivors were frightened by the sound of some safes being moved, because it "sounded like a bomb" -- a good reason why "like a bomb" doesn't necessarily mean "is a bomb".

"The people in the Pentagon were moved to one of the adjacent buildings," said Ritchie. "There were some safes being moved. Some people came in [asking for psychiatric help] when they heard the safe move -- it sounded like a bomb and brought back a lot of the symptoms."

And it seems people can be frightened and suspect "explosions" from what you'd think were the most unlikely sources:

"We were having a dinner party one night and we heard what sounded like explosions in front of the house. It turned out to be nothing more than eggs hurled at our front windows, but it sounded terrifying and we all jumped under the table.

Let's bear in mind that explosions are even more likely in a fire, too, although no bombs are required.

Suddenly, Oaks looked around to see her living room on fire and the apartment filling up with smoke. She went to her bedroom, smashed through the glass of the window with her right hand, now wrapped in bandages. She perched on the window frame.

As she jumped, she heard the smoke alarm blare...

Oaks heard what sounded like explosions, and windows blew out apartments several doors away.

And then there’s the famed Madrid Windsor fire, an office building that suffered a major fire in 2005 (our emphasis):

A raging fire swept through the upper levels of an empty, 32-story office building in downtown Madrid early Sunday, causing no serious injuries but collapsing the top floors in a shower of flaming debris...

The fire started around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and was still burning out of control several hours later. At least nine upper stories were on fire and muffled explosions could be heard in the building.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known, but emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said it might have been a short circuit, informs the Guardian...

If there were hundreds of witnesses around any of these cases then we might expect many accounts of bombs and explosions, then. They're not making it up, but they're not proof that explosives was used, either. A case for demolition requires considerably more.

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