Re: How did they know everyone left the stardrive section?
Richard Baker wrote:
With about a thousand people to get to safety I think the connecting doors will close at a certain time regardless if people are still left in the stardrive section or not. Personally I think they waited to long to separate since when the warp core blew it knocked the saucer out of control into the atmosphere.
The other thing to consider - the majority of those thousand crew members were probably already on the saucer section as that's where most of the off-duty, non-Starfleet personnel lived and resided. There was probably only a fraction of the crew in the drive section that needed to be evacuated to begin with. Along with this theory, there's probably a safer, shielded zone in the saucer that everyone had to get to - which is why we saw Geordi and Dr. Crusher shuffling people out of sickbay and down the corridors in the lead-up to the crash.
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." -Voltaire