NFPA 921 – 23.1.4 Definition of an Explosion
“Although an explosion is almost always accompanied by the production of a loud noise, the noise itself is not an essential element in the definition of an explosion. The generation and violent escape of gases are the primary criteria for an explosion.”
13. Did investigators consider the possibility that an explosion caused or contributed to the collapse of WTC 7?
Yes, this possibility was investigated carefully. NIST concluded that blast events inside the building did not occur and found no evidence supporting the existence of a blast event.
In addition, no blast sounds were heard on the audio tracks of video recordings during the collapse of WTC 7 or reported by witnesses. According to calculations by the investigation team, the smallest blast capable of failing the building’s critical column would have resulted in a sound level of 130 decibels (dB) to 140 dB at a distance of at least half a mile, if unobstructed by surrounding buildings. This sound level is consistent with a gunshot blast, standing next to a jet plane engine, and more than 10 times louder than being in front of the speakers at a rock concert.