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Multi-storey building (historiy archive) collapses in Cologne/Germany

 
 
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 09:44 am
Quote:
COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - A multi-storey building collapsed into a heap of rubble in the city of Cologne Tuesday, injuring at least one person and possibly trapping others inside, authorities said.

More than 200 rescue workers rushed to the scene in the south of the city after the collapse of the historical former town archive. German media said the collapse may have been sparked by work on an underground train line.

"We don't know if people were inside," said a Cologne police spokesman, adding the cause for the collapse was still unclear. Fire services said at least one person was slightly injured.

Television pictures showed huge mounds of rubble next to a church spilling 30 metres across a two-lane street.

(Writing by Dave Graham)

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,1453012,00.jpg

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,1452932,00.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 6,130 • Replies: 40
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Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 09:44 am

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,1452973,00.jpg

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,1452969,00.jpg

http://www.express.de/XP/expressbild/xxl/6092710589.jpghttp://www.express.de/XP/expressbild/xxl/6065538178.jpg


Photos via spiegel-online, Express Köln online
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 09:48 am
Oh my. Do you know how old the building was? The surrounding buildings look pretty modern.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 09:49 am
@Walter Hinteler,
It's still not clear, if and how many people are dead/injured - 3 to 4 meters height of stones have to be searched.

A nearby grammar school (for more than 1,000 pupils) might be on risk to collapse as well.


The reason is, of course, not known yet. But it sems that the collapse might be due to works for a new underground line.


This is how the archive's building looked alike before:

http://odis.greven.de/cms/media/archive/nline_002/nachrichten/13022009_archiv_gr.jpg
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 09:56 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:
The reason is, of course, not known yet.

I'm sure gravity played a role.
Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:18 am
@joefromchicago,
You have a point.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:33 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

Walter Hinteler wrote:
The reason is, of course, not known yet.

I'm sure gravity played a role.
there's no such thing as gravity the earth sucks.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:37 am
One of my friends in Cologne said that around the area where this building
is located, they were digging underground for quite some time to extend the
U-Bahn (underground trolley).
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:45 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks for calling attention to this, Walter. (I no longer have relatives in Cologne but I was born there.)

1997 was the last time I visited Cologne. They do have an underground train system. CJane is probably correct about the cause.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 10:50 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

This is how the archive's building looked alike before:

http://odis.greven.de/cms/media/archive/nline_002/nachrichten/13022009_archiv_gr.jpg



Not really an old building! I am surprised.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:01 am
@wandeljw,
A couple of years ago, they already had hige problems with a church spire nearby.
And neighbours said (earlier as well as today) that they literally noticed the underground works ... and could see it on their homes' walls. [I posted a photo of that "schiefe Turm" on the German thread, I think.]

(The building is situated close to the Severinsbrücke, on the Severinsstrasse, in the Südstadt - been there a couple of times.)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:05 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Nine people are being missed, according to the latest news.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 11:30 am
@Walter Hinteler,
A police spokesman said that the building had been constructed in the 1960's or 1970's.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 12:54 pm
@wandeljw,
Seems that the city departments were warned before about "architectonic fissures".

18 rack-kilometres have been destroyed - a damage greater than the burning of the library in Weimar some fear. (Not to speak about the possible of several lives!!!)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 01:13 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Two to three people are missing it is said now.
Report (in English) at spiegel-online
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 02:01 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
According to Walter's link the building had been built in 1971.

(The building was less than 40 years old!)
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 02:02 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Oh, dear!

The people!

The archives! (worries about rain, and so on)

oh, and the business about architectural fissures.. with only the one building, I would hope.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 12:49 am
Quote:
Cologne, Germany - Rescue teams Wednesday morning restarted the search for missing people after the collapse of the western German city of Cologne’s historical archives centre and two neighbouring buildings.

Overnight, police lowered the number of missing people to two, while other reports still spoke of five missing. Earlier, police had spoken of nine missing, but subsequently lowered the number.

Rescuers worked during the night to prevent the building from subsiding further, while firemen started to retrieve documents from the basement of an adjoining building which was not destroyed in the collapse, a fire brigade spokesman said.

A police spokesman said sniffer dogs used to search the rubble for those still missing may have detected victims. Rescue efforts, however, could only begin when rubble from the roof has been removed, for which heavy machinery was necessary.

But there were fears about their survival chances beneath the rubble.

“A quick rescue is not possible,” according to the director of Cologne’s fire department, Stefan Neuhoff. It was unlikely that there were any air holes in the rubble.

Speculation about the cause of the collapse is focused on new building work for the city’s underground transit system, which runs directly below the archives.

Meanwhile, staff members accused the city authorities of having ignored earlier reports of damage to the building.

“A technician must be really stupid if such reports are not taken seriously,” Eberhard Illner, a former long-time department director in the archives, was quoted as saying by the online edition of the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper, accusing the authorities of grave neglect.

City authorities, however, rejected the accusations, saying that earlier expert studies dating from December 2008 said that cracks in the building did not affect the building’s structural integrity.

“According to today’s knowledge, the damage detected back then was not the cause of the accident,” chief city administrative officer Guido Kahlen said.

Besides the possible human casualties, the damage to the city’s historical archives - documenting Cologne’s development over its 2,000-year history, was immense.

Illner told German radio that the damage was greater than that suffered in a fire at the historic Anna Amalia library in Weimar several years ago.

“We are talking here of about 18 kilometres of shelves of the most valuable archive material,” he said. (dpa)

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 06:19 am
Two persons are still missing - the fire brigade sees no change for rescue (if they are there, that is).

By now, even the city admits that the reason for the collapses most certainly are the subway works - the work on the project has being carried under the street where the building stood. Alsos an open shaft lay in front of where the building sat ... and the building more or les "fell" into that whole.

The prosecution started investigations.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 4 Mar, 2009 08:41 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks for the information, Walter. Did you take Diane and Dyslexia to see the archives when you gave them a tour of Cologne a few years ago?
 

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