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Charles de Gaulle Airport Roof Collapse

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Table of Contents

Title Page

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Abstract

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TOC

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Introduction

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Relevant sections

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Conclusion

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References ( Work Cited)

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The Charles de Gaulle Airport collapse was one of the most expensive in repairs, the initial project was already a stunning 900 million dollars. The airport was located in Paris, France and was a hotspot for tourists and other visitors as many amusement parks, food places, etc were just minutes away. On May 23, 2004, disaster would strike on terminal 2E as the roof collapsed, killing 4 people and injuring 3 others. When investigated by law enforcement and other fellow engineers, faults in the design were found, because the project was rushed and safety measures were a bit ignored. Another reason for the collapse was found to be due to thermal expansion, the warm metal structure expanded and contracted as the temperature went from high 70's to the low 30's that same morning, loosening the grip and support as it suddenly cooled down and shrank, causing the collapse.

Introduction

In the early 2000's , a nine-hundred million dollar project was going to be introduced to the city of  Paris, France. The project designer was Paul Andreu, the one in charge of how smooth and crisp this project was going to turn out. This is known as the Charles de Gaulle Airport, an airport that at the time and still today is considered being one of the largest in the world, holding seventeen planes and had the capacity to hold 10,000,000 passengers a year, and on a daily basis transported roughly two-hundred thousand  passengers. This airport was a huge success, there were so many tourist attractions minutes away, which made the airport a hot spot for visitors, a very excellent place to locate this airport. The Charles de Gaulle Airport consisted of three layers of material, the outer layer consisted of plate glass, giving the structure a very modern look at the time. The middle layer was made up of metal supports, a very good choice for materials to hold and make this building sturdy. And lastly the inner layer, or the inside was composed of concrete blocks that would help support the metal supports. Many who entered the airport were stunned at the scenery, a very modern yet futuristic look, that when waiting for a next flight, which would often be a couple of hours, would be an enjoyable place to wait, relax, and enjoy the scenery. A couple of months had passed since the construction of the airport, and people were calling it a jewel from France, as it showed off French engineering skill and in a way, a sense of style.

Relevant Sections

On the oddly cold morning of May 23, 2004, catastrophe would have a toll on the Charles de Gaulle Airport located near Paris, France. It was early in the morning, around 7 am, when a few tourists heard cracking like sounds and noticed small clouds of dust coming down from the ceiling, and then, it collapsed. Down came the roof, tons of concrete fell leaving a huge gap in the terminal. Each square foot weighed about 60 pounds, the width of the terminal was 100 and counting feet, so trying to imagine how much weight could have fallen on a person is something you do not want to think about. As the concrete roof gave out, it fell flat to the ground killing 4 people and injuring 3. Terminal 2E had crumbled to the ground! This took many people by surprise because it had not even been it's anniversary yet, it had only been active for 11 months when the tragedy happened. For now, that is all people knew about the accident, nobody knew how this could have happened and what the cause was. Further investigation was still to take place, and people anxiously waited to see what the police and other investigators could dig out from this.

Investigation

During investigation and various interviews, local engineers and also the police came to the conclusion that the problems did not come from a freak accident, but they did lead back to the faulty designs in the terminal. It was found that cautionary measures were not taken in mind during the design. A stunning find was that the opening of the terminal was delayed a day after a chandelier fell because of the moving in the ceiling. This made people want to learn more and the investigations were taken deeper into the case.

Findings and Recommendations

On May 23, 2004, a catastrophe that would leave many French stunned and those in neighboring countries occurred as terminal 2E of the Charles De Gaulle Airport fell to the ground, killing 4 and injuring 3. Faulty and rushed designs were to blame, and more research and causes were yet to be found. Deep into the investigation already, it was pointed out that the metal structures were inserted too deep into the concrete blocks, causing the cracking in the roof. At the same time , this cracking weakened the roof, causing it to collapse. However, something else was found to be a cause of the collapse. The metal structure was constantly hot, which made it expand, and as mentioned before, the temperature had drastically dropped from around 73 degrees fahrenheit all the way down to around 38 degrees. This meant that at one point the metal was flexible as it was warm , but as soon as the temperature dropped quickly, it made the metal shrink back as it tried to straighten out, loosening the grip on the already cracked concrete blocks and causing it  all to plunge to the ground.

Impact on Engineering Practices

Ever since engineers heard about the incident, many have really taken their time handling workers to do the jobs done and right. They have also insured that their plans and sketches are accurate and are always safe after the construction is done. People's safety and well being is now a must while developing and constructing buildings that are enormous and cost so much money.

People should feel safe when boarding a new state of the art plane or entering a brand new future like building. Someone's life should never be at risk because an engineer or architect etc failed to see a safety hazard.

In conclusion, the Charles de Gaulle Airport disaster was not so bad in the amount of victims suffered. However it was useful for many architects and engineers as they learned to analyze more carefully and ensure the safety of those who would be involved in their building or structure. To ensure that this wouldn't happen again, it was decided to rebuild the entire structure and this time , without using the heavy tons of concrete. They opted to use glass and metal sheeting and for the structures the metal was still the 1st option. Now the terminal and the rest of the airport has been rebuilt and is as successful as it had been before.

Https://www.facebook.com/JackieCravenWrites. "Why Did the Charles-de-Gaulle Airport Terminal Collapse?" About.com Home. N.p., 24 Apr. 2016. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.

Rubric rating submitted on: 12/21/2016, 12:47:19 PM by [email protected]

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Background

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Investigation

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Comments:


[1]should be after the table of contents and shorter - see if you can get it down to 4-5 sentences


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