structural failures

Algo Centre Mall

ELLIOT LAKE, ON - 2012

On June 23rd, 2012, a section of the roof of the Algo Centre Mall collapsed, taking the lives of two people. The ensuing Inquiry began evidentiary hearings on March 4, 2013, and ended on October 9, 2013. On January 31st, 2014, Ontario Provincial Police announced that three charges were laid against an inspecting engineer: two counts of criminal negligence causing death, and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. On February 13th, 2014, Ontario Superior Court Justice Belobaba certified a class action lawsuit arising from the mall collapse. 

Alfred P. Murrah Building

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - 1995


 On April 19th, 1995, a truck parked on the street in front of the Afred Pm Murrah Building exploded, resulting in the failure of the north facade of the building. In addition to destroying and damaging over three hundred buildings within a sixteen block radius, this domestic terrorist act killed 168 people and injured 680. The full collapse of the concrete frame of the Murrah building was triggered by the progressive collapse of the upper stories after the explosion took out the supporting columns of the transfer beam supporting the third floor.  

Hyatt Regency Hotel Walkway

KANSAS CITY, MI - 1981


This tragic collapse of two interior walkways in the hotel lobby during a dance competition was completely sudden and unexpected. The mystery of the reason for the collapse was actually solved by an architectural engineer who had been hired by the Kansas City Star newspaper. Examination of photographs of the deformed steel structure provided a critical clue that led to the answer to the mystery: a vital steel connection had been changed during construction, catastrophically altering the load path of the structural assembly. It was also concluded that the weakened structural assembly was additionally compromised by the rhythmic dancing during the event. The professional engineers who had approved the final construction drawings lost their licenses to practice, although the firm was cleared of criminal negligence. The Kansas City Star was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for its coverage of the story. At the time, it was the deadliest structural collapse in U.S. history, not surpassed until the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001.