The partial roof cave-in at the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake, Ontario is one of many recent structural building collapses around the world:
New York City, 2012
Last month, a five-story brownstone apartment building in Harlem, New York collapsed suddenly in a “tsunami of dust.” The century-old apartment building was vacant, and workers had been brought in to fix it up. They had already gone home for the day when the building came down. Police searched for hours, but could not find any casualties.
Rio de Janeiro, 2012
In January, three buildings collapsed in Brazil's second biggest city, killing seventeen people. It is believed that illegal construction work on one of the buildings - a 72-year-old, twenty story high rise - caused structural damage, which lead to the building falling on top of two neighbouring office blocks.
The dance floor collapsed at a wedding in Israel, on May 24th, 2001. Twenty-three wedding guests were killed, and nearly 400 more were injured. Two co-owners of the banquet hall were sentenced for criminal negligence, as the building had been constructed in the 80s using a cheap method that was later banned by the government.
A five-story Sampoong Department Store collapsed in Seoul, South Korea, with over 1500 shoppers inside. More than 500 people were killed, and many others were injured after being trapped under the rubble. The accident was blamed on shoddy construction standards, and the store’s owner, Lee Joon, was sentenced to ten years in prison for negligence.
Burnaby, BC, 1988
The roof of a newly-built supermarket collapsed only a few minutes after the opening ceremonies. No one was killed, but over twenty people were injured. The government of BC lead an extensive inquiry into the accident.
Kansas City, 1981
In an especially notorious case, the ‘skywalk’ of the Hyatt Regency Hotel fell into the atrium. The people on the walkway were watching a dance competition that was happening below. 114 people were killed, and scores more were injured. Regency's rival, Sheraton hotels, donated $5,000 towards a thirtieth anniversary memorial last year.
Sources: The New York Times, CBS News, BBC News, The Daily Mail UK, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, CNN, The American Society of Civil Engineers, The Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal.
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