Charles de Gaulle airport building has partial collapse in Paris

in General Discussion edited January 2014
BBC story that has a picture of the damage.

When visiting Paris last October I remember how impressed I was with Charles de Gaulle airport. The form was just beautiful. I have walked over the area that has collapsed. I was on an airline part of Sky Team and it is so sad to see this collapse. To me I found the airport to be an art form. I hope engineers and safty councel can rebuild the Airport to the beauty it is.

I am sorry for those who have lost their lives.



  • Reply 1 of 7
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Yes it's terrible. A part of the roof collapsed killing 5 people and wounded 3. Just some minutes before the drama, people discuvered a crack in the wall, and the police was trying to evacuate this aera.

    This part of the airport was the latest build one year ago.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Looks like bad concrete to me.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Concrete thin shells. . .

    Kresge Auditorium, Sydney Opera House, deGaulle airport. . .

    You can't build them in spherical or cylindrical shapes. The Spanish and the Swiss figured this out. (well, one swiss guy) No one else did. I can guarantee that it's not going to be a thin shell this time, although it would make a great end-of-life story for Isler if they commisioned him to do it.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    The concrete looks terribly thin in those pictures.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member

    Originally posted by Giaguara

    The concrete looks terribly thin in those pictures.

    If it were designed by someone who knew what he was doing it would be thinner, and it would still be standing.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Looking at the BBC pictures, I don't think the concrete shells you see that formed the walls and roof had anything to do with the failure directly. I think whatever was supporting them gave out first. It was a clean break between segments according to those pictures, I wonder where the crack developed. The weakest link for that type of assembly would be at the mechanical connections between segments and to the vertical structure. A first guess would be that the stresses at a point in the joint itself and/or in the construction of the shell at the point of connection caused a failure that might have started some time ago and worsened exponentially. It could be the quality of the concrete, some miscalculation in the post-tensioning of the member, or maybe a mistake in the construction of the joint itself or how it was attached. If I were the authorities, I'd close the entire terminal where that system is used, because it could be an isolated error, it could be some eccentric and unpredicted loading of the structure at that point, or it could be systematic and endemic to the design of those elements. The last possibility is the most troubling.

    I've never been to that part of the airport. It's sort of lucky, if it's not too macabre to say that, that De Gaulle is split up as much as it is and that the terminals are so far apart. It's amazing as few people were injured or died. Again, it's macabre to say that, but really, it's pretty miraculous. Whoever handled the emergency inside as it was happening did a great job.

    [edit] I've seen people stand on the last inch of an acute angle of 3" deep concrete without rebar and the concrete didn't budge. Concrete comes in lots of varieties and you can do some amazing things with its thickness theses days, especially when you use steel inside. Anyway, it didn't look like the shell failed in the middle or anything, if it did fail, it did it at a point or series of points along its edge.
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