A report on the collapse of part of the roof of the novel concourse at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport suggests that two problems played a role in the accident, which killed four people on May 23, 2004. Systemic flaws in the way the technically challenging building was designed led to weaknesses that caused the collapse. The government- appointed investigative team that found the two key failings cannot say which has the dominant responsibility for failure. The design process was not rigorous enough, and it was never independently verified. The findings suggest that a chain of failures was responsible, and did not blame any individual. Two areas of the innovative shell roof were singled out for special attention where it linked to the terminal. The rest of the structure should be able to be reinforced to provide a sufficient margin of safety. Subtle structural changes to accommodate a footbridge helped accelerate the weakness in some overstressed struts and the debilitating effects of concrete creep and fatigue caused by cyclical loading. A separate study will look into whether any individual agencies, companies or persons should be held responsible. In all processes, the investigation found weaknesses, including the way materials were procured.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    McGraw-Hill, Incorporated

    330 West 42nd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10036
  • Authors:
    • Reina, P
  • Publication Date: 2005-2-21


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 10-11
  • Serial:
    • ENR
    • Volume: 254
    • Issue Number: 7
    • Publisher: McGraw-Hill, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0891-9526

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00986937
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2005 12:00AM