Updated: Feb 14
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.”
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.”