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San Feng Department Store Accident in Korea

Hundreds of people were killed as a direct result

By Nao FetterPublished 5 months ago 5 min read

In just 20 seconds, the five-story mall building collapsed, crushing 1,500 people under 42,000 tons of rubble, killing 502 people and injuring 937. What happened behind the scenes of the San Feng Mall tragedy in South Korea, which has sounded the alarm for building safety ever since? We'll start right away.

Disaster is more than a moment

The collapse of the Mitotic department store in South Korea happened right on the fifth anniversary of the opening of the building, which was located in a prime location in Seoul and could receive 40,000 customers a day and could reach a turnover of $4 million a week. as soon as he got to work on the morning of June 29, 1995, the facilities manager saw a note from the security guard saying that he had heard a strange rattling sound during the night, and the manager knew that it was because two years earlier, the roof of the building had been moved over the air conditioner when it caused The manager knew it was due to a crack in the roof caused when the air conditioner was moved two years ago, and it wasn't the first time it had happened, so he didn't take it to heart.

Two hours later, a 10 cm crack appeared in the load-bearing column of the restaurant on the fifth floor, and even then, the person in charge of the mall simply closed the restaurant and continued to operate on other floors. An emergency meeting was also held at 2 p.m. After some inspections by structural engineers, it was found that the top floor had collapsed slightly, and the proposal to close the mall was made. But the people in charge of the mall did not want to immediately to the end of the rush hour, which is the peak of the day's business, and so, were unaware of the customers bustling into the mall. At 5:50 or so, a huge burst of sound, booming, the mall alarm issued a sharp sound, panic people have run out of the mall, but it was too late, In just 20 seconds, the five-story building collapsed into the flat, passers-by and The survivors were bewildered to see the dusty remains of the building in front of them.

After the incident, several cranes rushed to the scene to rescue, has more than 200 survivors were rescued, only the death toll is also climbing.

In just 20 seconds, the five-story department store building collapsed in an instant, making it the largest peacetime casualty in Korea. Non-earthquake, non-fire, non-explosion, since it was not a natural disaster, it was inevitably a man-made disaster.

Fatal errors are intertwined

Initially, it was thought that the collapse was a foundation problem because the site of the Sam bong Department Store was a landfill, but the investigation revealed that the disaster was caused by the roof of the building. The captain was saddened to learn of the accident report and that the series of errors would not have caused such a big accident if one of the snaps had been cut.

The first snap: the illegal addition of layers

The initial design of the mall was four floors, and halfway through the construction, it was decided to add an extra floor. The original edition of the fifth floor was to do ice skating rink, and later changed into a restaurant, used to sit on the floor to eat with Korean people, but also need to lay the floor in the restaurant floor heating and other equipment, so that no weighing needs of the top floor into the fifth floor super-weighted floor.

The second snap: load-bearing column shrinkage

According to calculations, the building should require a diameter of 80 cm, equipped with 16 steel columns, the results of the accident investigation found that the building columns were only 60 cm, steel also shrunk to 8, to make room for the installation of multiple escalators. This reduced the strength of the entire building by nearly half.

The third snag: misplaced rear

The error was not only in the columns but also in the floor slab. The rear in the floor slab went from 5 cm to 10 cm above the ground, a hair's breadth of difference. This directly weakened the thickness of the floor slab. San Feng commercial buildings use no beam building cover type structure, only relying on the columns and floor slab load-bearing, both of which, however, are in violation, making the building strength directly decrease by 20%.

Then the captain asks you, do you know what the last straw that crushed the camel was? Even if such and such a mistake, not so much as to put into use only five years of the building, like a mollusk that drew the backbone.

Display a variety of high-end goods in the South Korean San Feng mall, for a few million turnovers, directly caused 502 deaths, nearly 1,000 people injured, while the main responsible person was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months, an average of 7 days of reflection for each dead soul ------

The fourth snap: mobile air cooler

The last straw that broke the camel's back was the chillers on the roof of the building. The three large water-cooled air conditioning units, which weigh 29 tons by themselves, tripled in weight to 88 tons if filled with water. This in itself is a violation, two years before the disaster, the building also carried out a "tumultuous operation", because the chiller noise is a relatively large impact on the surrounding residents, the commercial building decided to move the chiller to the other side of the roof. As a rule, such a weight is to move the crane but to save money, they give the chiller on pulleys, directly dragged to the transfer location.

The team imagined, pushing the stone mill to grind over, what became slag. In this way, the stability of the roof was destroyed thorough, the roof in addition to cracks of varying degrees, each time the start of air conditioner, bringing the vibration of the machine, to the fragile floor "cut mouth", but also intensified the burden of the column, the final collapse of the start point in the "unbearable weight "The 5 column.

A single mistake

On the seventeenth day after the collapse, the 19-year-old counter clerk became the last survivor to be rescued, and the death toll from the building accident was set at 502. After the accident, the Korean government conducted a rigorous building inspection, which found that every seven buildings had a safety hazard and that the prosperity behind the building was already full of sores.

On the day of the accident, the crisis swayed in front of the edge, and the profit-hungry management finally sacrificed their interests for the safety of thousands of people, and I am afraid the angrier that the final verdict is poor. Let us remember: the reckless pursuit of profit is the best breeding ground for disaster.


About the Creator

Nao Fetter

Good psychological quality is beneficial to enhance physical fitness and improve resistance to disease

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