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The question?

News : Cover story

As engineers, what are your views on the attack on the World Trade Center?

Like any other reasonably affluent human being I am as utterly appalled at the sheer malice of the act, as I am at the state of hopelessness which drives others to see it as a cause for celebration. As an engineer I believe such huge buildings are inherently unsafe, the risks may be low - and I do not suggest that aircraft impact should have been anticipated - but the severity is extreme. If Hollywood was able to identify a disaster scenario in 'The Towering Inferno', surely a rational engineering risk assessment should have done.

Anthony Taylor, 58, consultant, St Albans

Incomprehensible!

Tom Betts, 28, senior engineer, Northamptonshire

The attack on the World Trade Center indicates the inhumanity of man. Great Britain is vulnerable to terrorist attacks, as has been demonstrated in the recent past. As a nation, like others in the western world, we have sacrificed the fine balance between security and freedom.

We allow our pensioners to live a frugal existence and yet pay millions out in compensation to terrorists and non residents of the UK. We need a more balanced approach in government and therefore more engineers in Parliament to help create a better balance and more common sense.

J Easdon, 51, civil engineer, Wiltshire

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