By: Alyssa Oshiro-momohara, Brynn Watanabe, and Royce Miyahara Sampoong DepartmentStore Collapse Seoul, South Korea
South Korea • A major international economic power. • 12th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia. • Construction is King. • Industry has massive leeway to build whatever, whenever, and however they so desired.
Sampoong Department Store • Five-story tall department store, complex. • 40,000 people shopped in the department store every day. • New pink edifice of commercialization.
Background Information • Owner is Mr.Lee Joon. • Constructed in 1987. • Considered to be one of the “swankiest” stores in town. • Had everything under one roof, from a gourmet grocery to high-end clothing and cosmetic boutiques.
Disaster Strikes! • 6:00 pm on June 29th, 1995. • In less than 20 seconds, the 5-story department store collapses into its four basements. • Estimated 1,500 unsuspecting shoppers and employees trapped inside.
Statistics • Killed more than 500 people. • Injured over 900 people. • Resulted in about ₩270 billion (approximately US$216 million) worth of property damage.
So why did it collapse?? • No signs of a natural disaster. • Was not a terrorist act. • No wrecking ball was in sight.
Looking Deeper • Architect’s drawings did not match the engineers calculations. • Still not within building standards the structure should have been safe because of the margins of error calculated into design standards.
Management Decisions • Originally designed as an office building with four floors. • Mr. Joon carried out modifications over objections of the original contractors, whom he fired and replaced.
Construction Flaws • Foundation on a former trash dump. • Addition of the concrete slab for the 5th floor exceeded the design loads by a factor of 4. • Relocation of AC unit on roof damaged the roof structure. • Concrete was mixed with salt-water, speeding the deterioration of the steel used to strengthen the building.
Construction Flaws Part 2 • Rebars were centimeters thinner than regulations would allow. • Size of columns reduced from 80 cm to 60 cm (under regulation size). • 16 rebars per column was reduced to 8. • Support columns were cut away to accommodate escalators. • OVERALL-the strength was reduced by half.
Warnings • Building showed cracking due to the overload. • Cracks appeared in the ceiling of the fifth floor. • A worker noted a gas leak but request to close store was denied. • At the day of the collapse, the ceiling on the fifth floor started crumbling.
Response • The only response to this was an order from Mr. Joon to move the expensive merchandise from the fifth to the ground floor. • No further action was taken, nothing that would hinder the daily income.
Conclusion • It is considered the worst disaster in SouthKorea's (admittedly short) history as well as the worst structural collapse of a building in modern history. • Blamed for faulty design and shortcuts during construction.
Works Cited • http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/compare/sampoong.html • http://www.hazardcards.com/card.php?id=8 • http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/channel/blog/2005/09/explorer_collapse.html • http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=d738f39cd5d90610acd7ad4d176b57d5 • http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=954387