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The Sampoong Department Store was built in Seoul, South
Korea, it was collapsed on the 29th of June 1995. The collapse is
the deadliest modern building collapsed that occurred until the attacks in New
York. The reason because of this disaster is due to of multiple errors made by
the designers and contractors who built the store and the negligence of the
store owner.

 

The structure was built on top of a landfill, it was
originally designed for an office building but midway through construction the
chairman wanted to make it into a department store with an additional fifth
floor. Many engineers that were working on the project warned the owner Joon
that the changes were dangerous and could collapse but instead of understanding
the consequences he fired them.

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In the disaster that occurred, 1500 people were inside
the building and got trapped in which over 500 died and 937 received non-fatal
injuries. The rescue team was not able to start their search till the next day
due to risk of further collapse and rescuers would be at risk, figure 1
illustrates the department facilities for each story.

 

 

Figure 1, Department facilities for each story and
collapsed part

 

https://failures.wikispaces.com/Sampoong+Department+Store

 

 

 

 

Literature Review

 

The construction of the Sampoong started in 1987, it was
originally designed to be an office but the future chairman of the building
Joon Lee midway through the construction, wanted it to be a department store. The process involved cutting the numbers of
support columns to be able to install the escalators. The contractors refused
to carry these changes as they were not safe, Lee Joon the future chairman
ignored their concerns and hired another building company for the construction.
The Sampoong Department Store opened to the public on July 7, 1990, attracting
an estimated 40,000 people per day during the building’s five years of
existence. (Almarwae Mohammed 2017).

 

Lee Joon neglected the safety procedures and risked the
life of all those people involved in the incident even after being aware of the
possible consequences. In April 1995,
cracks began to appear in the ceiling of the south wing’s fifth floor. The only
response by Lee and his management staff involved moving merchandise and stores
from the top floor to the basement. Eventually the cracks increased forcing
managers to close the top floor and shut the air conditioning. The store management
did not shut the building or make anyone aware of the situation apart from the
executives and chairman, the reason why they did not want to close the building
down was because it was a very busy store and did not want to lose day’s
revenues, However, the executives and chairman did leave the premises. (Guo, H.and
others 2010).

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