Canadian Consulting Engineer

Parking garage collapses in Atlantic City

A large parking garage that was under construction in Atlantic City, New Jersey collapsed October 30, killing four...

October 31, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A large parking garage that was under construction in Atlantic City, New Jersey collapsed October 30, killing four people and injuring at least 20. The garage had 10 storeys and 2,400 spaces. It was attached to an 18-storey hotel, the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Five floors of the part of the garage furthest from the hotel fell at around 10.40 a.m. leaving layers of concrete and steel sloping down precariously.
According to reports in Associated Press and the New York Times, witnesses saw survivors dangling from the concrete 20 or 30 feet in the air, while others were caught in the interior or picked their way down scaffolding and tangles of reinforcing rods. A caulker who was working on the building said: “I heard all those floors go. The whole tower shook, like it was a miniature earthquake.”
Neither the contractor, Fabi Construction of New Jersey, nor the engineers, DeSimone Consulting Engineers of New York, were commenting on the cause of the collapse. The garage was apparently being constructed with precast concrete slabs overlaid by fresh concrete to form a 10-inch thick deck held in place with bearings. Experts quoted in the New York Times said that it was possible the bracings were damaged or not properly installed and gave way to the weight of new concrete being poured on the deck.


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