Shortened Sampoong Mall Collapse Draft

Shortened Sampoong Mall Collapse Draft - Sampoong Mall...

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Sampoong Mall Collapse Justin Little Marvin Okorafor Timi Fadiran Chris McBurrough Case Recap On June 29 th , 1995 at 5:52 PM KST, the Sampoong Department Store collapsed due to a structural failure, killing 501 people and injuring 937 others. Lee Joon, the future chairman of the structure, redesigned it as a four story department store, instead of its original plans of an office. Because of this design overhaul, support columns needed to be cut out in order to allow for space for escalators. Some construction companies refused to help Joon, so he fired them and found others. Later on, a fifth floor was added to the department store. The construction company refused this addition, so they were fired and another was found to complete the addition. Because the fifth floor became filled with restaurants, it also had a heated concrete base, as customers in Korean restaurants generally sit on the ground. This added even more load to the already full weight being stacked upon the lower levels. In addition, the building’s air conditioning unit had to be moved to the roof, which created a load upwards of four times the original design limit. Cracks began to appear in the ceiling of the fifth floor and instead of taking safety precautions, Lee and his management team moved merchandise and stores from the top floor to the basement. However, they left the grounds as a safety measure. By July, the top floor and air conditioning had to be shut down due to the large number of cracks. It was concluded the building would soon collapse. Even though they were told of this, the store continued to stay open and business continued. On the morning of the collapse, vibrations from the air conditioner caused the cracks to widen and the fourth floor ceiling to sink. Soon enough, cracking sounds were heard, and the building was evacuated. The roof quickly gave way and the air conditioning unit crashed into the fifth floor. This in turn caused the main columns to collapse from over excerption, and the entire wing collapsed down to the 1
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basement. Within a matter of 20 seconds, all of the building’s columns gave way, and trapped more than 1500 people and killing 500. This entire ordeal resulted in roughly $216 million in property damage. Immediately, rescue crews were on the scene, but shortly after was threatened to be called off due to fear of the rest of the structure collapsing. Over the course of a week, debris was moved and they carefully searched for any survivors. It took two weeks to finish rescue and recovery of any survivors. There were numerous proponents in causing the collapse; including weak foundation, “flat slab construction” technique, already smaller than regulation columns, less support beams, fire shields cut into support columns, the addition of the fifth floor, as well as the large air conditioning units placed upon the roof and moved around because of noise complaints. All of these worsened the condition of the structure and caused the imminent collapse of the Sampoong Department Store.
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