San Antonio Parking Garage Collapses During Construction

A 6-story  concrete parking garage under construction at a hospital site in San Antonio, Texas collapsed shortly before noon on Monday, February 14.  Fortunately, workers sounded an alarm warning on the site just in time to allow almost all of the 100 plus workers in the garage to escape unharmed.  Two construction workers were injured and admitted to University Medical Center, the owners of the collapsed garage. 

A newly released surveillance video shown on CNN (provided below) shows the progression of the collapse starting with the center section appearing to collapse within its footprint followed by another part of the structure that collapses by leaning over.

Another phase of garage construction at the same site consisting of a seven-story facility was completed several weeks earlier is  believed to be structurally sound despite the adjacent the collapse with the exception of a small area that may need some shoring at this time.  Overall the two garages are to provide approximately 3,300 spaces as a part of a $900 million expansion plan for  University Hospitals which features a new 10-story patient tower totaling almost 1 million square feet of new space.

It is too early to speculate on the cause of the collapse and few specific details are known.  OSHA inspectors have been dispatched and are expected to conduct a full scale investigation and it could take months before the OSHA report is released.   It has been reported by various news agencies and as can be seen in the accompanying video overview provided by AP to YouTube,  a significant number of columns and associated beams or girders were installed but no floor systems.

San Antonio has already had one fatal collapse this year.  In early January a man was killed and two other people injured when a stairwell collapsed at the Oaks On Bandera Apartments.  The structure was ordered to be evacuated after the accident.  On February 14, the city’s Dangerous Structure Determination Board gave the owners of the apartment six months to perform major repairs at the complex.

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