Failures News Watch

 Failures News Watch is the section of Building Failures Forum that tracks and  links the reader to a representative set of  different types of building and infrastructure failures (not just collapses) including those failures events making headlines. 

As more information becomes available, some of these “failures in the news” will become featured  Building Failures Forum posts  or more indepth case studies on Failures Wiki.

For even more recent failures news, see the Building Failures Twitter Feed


the live twitter Building Failures feed at the bottom of this page

 2012 Selected Failure Cases:

Select from the Tabs Below for a Current Represntative List of Failures in the News as well as Building Failures and Collapses on this Month in History

January in Building Failures / Building Collapse History:
February in Building Failures /Building Collapse  History:

2/12 – David L Lawrence Convention Center Truss Collapse (2002)

2/20 – Station Nightclub Fire (2003)

2/23 – One Meridian Plaza Fire and Corporate Plaza Collapse (See above for links)

2/25 – Husky Football Stadium Addition Collapse During Construction (1987)

2/26 – WTC Bombing Attack (1993)

2012 Selected February Failures

2-27-2012:   Moment of Russian highrise apartment collapse caught on tape.  2-29-2012:  Investigation into cause of collapse continues.  Press reports indicate that gas leaks and explosions often occur in Russian buildings.

2-23-2012:  A construction worker was killed by an earth wall collapse at the same Gatlinburg TN Wastewater Treatment Plant that collapsed last April with two fatalities.  TOSHA is investigating.   

February 23  in building failures history: One Meridian Plaza Fire (21 Years Ago) and Corporate Plaza Collapse in PA (18 Years Ago) 

March in Building Failures / Building Collapse History:3/2    Skyine Plaza / Bailey’s Crossroads VA (1973)

 3/3    1985 Chile Earthquake

 3/3    Cologne City Archives  Collapse (2009)

 3/9    John Hancock Center Chicago – Scaffold Collapse (2002)

 3/12  303 East 51st Street Manhattan Crane Collapse  (2008)

3/15   Hotel New World Collapse (1986)

 3/22   Schomburg Plaza High-Rise Fire (1987)

 3/25   Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (1911)

 3/27   Harbor Cay Condo Collapse (1981)

 3/29   Blyth Arena Roof Collapse – 1960 Olmypic Skating Rink at Squaw Valley – (1983)

April in Building Failures /Building Collapse History:4/18   Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

4/23  L”Ambiance Plaza Collapse – 1987

May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November in Building Failures / Building Collapse History11/15  Fishers Place Parking Garage Collapse (2002)

December 2012


2011 Selected Failure Cases: 


12-17-2011 – Cleveland casino parking garage under construction fails resulting in collapse of part of the second level.  No workers are injured.  Investigations, including one by OSHA are underway.  Construction restarted on undamaged sections on 12/20.  Most common time for a failure, especially cast in place concrete, is during construction.  See this Failures Wiki article for examples:


11-26-2011 – Indonesia’s 2330 ft span copy of Golden Gate bridge’ collapses with multiple deaths, injuries and missing.  Spanning the Mahakam River, the bridge collapsed Nov. 26 at 4:20 p.m. local time, sending vehicles into water that was reported to be over 40 meters deep.  A local official indicated that a support cable broke as workers were carrying out maintenance on the 10-year-old bridge leading to a progressive type collapse. See photos of the collapse at 

11-8-2011 –  Brooklyn building under construction fails in progressive collapse fashion.  Five workers are rescued!


10/29/2011 – October Snow Storm breaks records.  Even beats the New England Snow Hurricane of Oct. 9, 1804

10/23/2011 – Eastern Turkey Earthquake M 7.2  –  See EERI Eastern Turkey Earthquake Clearinghouse for details and updates.

10/12/2011 – 4000 buildings need urgent strengthening  according to NZ Royal Commission Report.

10/7/2011 – Plaster ceiling collapses on 2 – year old as he sleeps in his crib.  Child was brused and startled but OK.  Building condemmed by code officials.

10/4/2011 –  Italian factory collapse death toll and injuries mount.  No cause has yet been determined.  Warning signs were heard but not acted on.

10/3/2011 –  Crews demolish remains of apartment building following failed attempt to implode the building after a fire in Texas community.


9-21-2011 –  Building facade collapses on MTA bus in Harlem yesterday injuring several including four construction workers who were on scaffolding at the time.

9-20-2011 –  Severe wind gusts buckle the roof of Wollongong Stadium in Sidney putting it on the brink of collapse.

9-15-2011 – Vintage Licoln Park building collapses in Chicago during fire.  The structure was undergoing renovations.


8- 13- 2011 –   Historic building collapses overnight in Ensley, AL. Once serving as a bank and later as a long time area furniture store, the brick masonry building collapse was initially blamed on deterioration and poor overall condition. 

8-11-2011 –    Explosion at industrial building in Sylmar (LA) collapse roof and seriously injures three individuals.  Process to create alternate fuel is suspected as the explosion trigger mechanism.   See KABC video report that follows:

8-10-2011 –  Brick facade collapses in Oak Park injuring one person.  The buidling was unoccupied except for one store at the street level.  Permits for work were in place and some recent repair work had been underway.

8-5-2011 –   Two San Francisco window washers rescued after their scaffold collapses at a 16 story Mission Bay building.  Both were injured and taken to the hospital but safety harnesses were credited with saving them.

8-4-2011 – Crane looses footing and collapses at Quantico Corporate Center construction site in Fredericksburg, Va.  No injuries reported.  OHSA plans investigation.

Historic 122 – year old Canastota, NY Casket Company Factory Building  partially collapses.  City demolishes it for safety reasons.

Metrodome turf needs replaced due to mold and fungus.  Roof replacement almost finished.  See latest progress reports and photos.


7-20-2011  Rigger for March 2008 NYC crane collapse that killed 7 people  looses license despite acquittal on criminal charges.

7-17-2011  Rock Group Cheap Trick narrowly escape harm when stage collapses in high winds.  At least five others were injured.

7-10-2011  Second Alesayi Tower in Jeddah in danger of collapse as a result of massive fire damage.  Fire lasting over 20 hours brought down one 4-story steel structure so far.

7-7-2011  A section of the Grolsch Veste stadium in Enschede, Netherlands, collapsed on Thursday during off-season construction work.  Multiple fatalities and injuries occurred. 

7-5-2011   Taipai Times is reporting that a collapse during construction occured yesterday at the site of plant for smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp. resulting in two fatalities.  Inspectors at the site are blaming design and materials issues but specific details have not yet been reported.  Photo available.

7-1-2011  Proactive subsurface stabilization work moving forward on Indiana elementary school built over abandoned mine susceptable to collapse activity.


6-25-2011 –  Granite panel falls from the facade of the the Galveston Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade.  Erected in 1940, it is  one of a number of Galveston’s historic  building stock.  Photo credit below (predamage):

The Cotton Exchange – Galveston, TX

6-21-2011  –   Massive scaffolding collapse occurs at the Hendrick Medical Center construction project in Abilene.  Two workers were injured.  OSHA is investigating. Link to Photo Gallery

6-13-2011 – Two powerful aftershocks of 5.5 and 6.0  strike New Zealand even as the  inquest into the deaths of the 106 people killed in the collapse of the Canterbury Television building (February 22) takes place.

6-11-2011  – Hospital in Reading, PA goes dark for 44 minutes when primary and emergency power fails.

6-9-2011 – Building Collapse in Binghampton, NY due to fire caught on video during interview with fire chief.  Video link no longer available:


6/9/2011 – Worker trapped in debris of collapsed Florida power plant that was being dismantled when boiler unit collapses unexpectedly.  Rescue efforts are continuing.  Update 6/13/2011:  Search crews recover body of trapped Welder.


5/27/2011 – Defective and wrong size metal studs blamed for massive Boston water pipe failure in May of 2010. 

5/24/2011 – Tornadoes hit central Oklahoma contributing to one of the worst years for tornadoes in US history.

5/22/2011 –  Tornado devistates Joplin Missouri

5/10/2011 – Three injured workers rescued after 35 minutes when metal plated wood roof trusses collapse during construction. 

5/8/2011 –  Historic, but delapitated Detroit Wurlitzer Building (Wurlitzer pipe organs) deemed threat to public after most recent event related to falling debris.

5/2/2011  – Ponding is one suspected cause in the roof collapse of the Jasper, Indiana High School gymnasium.  No injuries reported.  Photos available at the link. 


4/27 & 4/28 – 2011 – Southern Tornado Disaster:  Led by worst hit Alabama, southern states experience the worst tornado outbreak in the US since 1925.  A new record for modern times with 173 tornadoes in a single day.

4/26/2011-  Large section of  brick facade collapses onto sidewalk  in Albany, NY.  Residents temporarily evacuated.  Investigation of cause is continuing.

Brick Facade Failure – 99 Pearl Street – Albany, NY

4/19/2011 – Pool ceiling collapses at Libeskind’s Westside Centre in Bern.  Second ceiling collapse at the facility since opening in 2008.

4/17/2011 – Tornado damage forces Shaw University to close for the semester. 

4/7/2011 –  300,000 Gallon Water tank bursts near Lake Placid, FL collapsing an adjacent building where two workers were killed. 


3/27/2011 –  Bowling Alley and Hardware Store Collapse in California due to spring snow storm.  No injuries reported.

3/23/2011  –  Rain Collapses Roof  at Big Lots store that was recently closed for roof leaks.

3/16/2011 – Forklift Punches Through Floor at a food manufacturing compnay  in Indianapolis resulting in the death of the lift operator.

3/7/2011 – Partial Roof Collapse at new $124 million Beach Nut plant in the Town of Florida causes evacuation and temporary shutdown until structural safety is reviewed.  Fortunately, no injuries were reported although 150 employees were evacuated.

3/4/11 –   Firefighters Rappel Trapped Workers to Safety when scaffold collapses in Yonkers, NY.  OSHA is expected to investigate.

 3/2/11 – Kennebec Ice Arena in Hallowell, Maine collapsed Wednesday.  Fortunately, three were only three occupants in the building at the time and they all escaped unharmed.  Photograph of collapsed roof and updates available here.  Updade:  Officials have announced the building is a total loss and will be demolished although no specific date has been set.

3/2/11 – The Eagle Dome in Lebret, Saskatchewan suffered a partial collapse on Sunday, February 27.  No injuries were reported although the building was occupied at the time.

3/1/11 –    Collapsed CTV Buildingin New Zealand was inspected after September 2010 quake and deemed safe for continued use.  Meanwhile, the collapse investigation continues.


2/28/11 –  Abandoned building collapses in DC.  Two story apartment building “pancakes” into the basement.

2/22/11 – 6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near the town of Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand.

2/19/11-  Scaffold collapse seriously injures 8 workers at the construction site of the 36-story Indochina Plaza in Hanoi

2/17/11 – Historic Maples Inn Collapse:  Local building officials blame the November 17, 2010 collapse of this historic structure on negligence due to the actions of the developer / contractor.  OSHA is still investigating. 

2/14/11 – Parking Garage Collapses while under construction in San Antonio.  Two workers injured but over 100 escape unharmed.

2/13/11 – Ice Rink Collapse:  An abandoned ice rink about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh in Grove City, PA collapsed.  Officials suspect weight of snow.  This is reminiscent of the collapse of the Rostraver Ice Palace near Pittsburgh almost one year to the day on February 14, 2010.  Rostraver was occupied at the time and the occupants were fortunately able to escape unharmed just as the collapse initiated.

2/12/11-Six-Story Building Collapse in the resort town of Luxor, Egypt results in multiple casualties and injuries.


1/31/11 – Building Collapse:  Rescuers searching the rubble of a Nine-story building in Santa Cruz, Boliva that collapsed a week ago have recovered 13 victims to date.  Collapse cause not yet confirmed.

 1/27/11 – Roof at Mass. Garage Collapses – Two Rescued – Washington Post (Submitted by BFF reader)

1/25/11 – Roof Collapse from snow at the shopping center “OKAY” in St. Petersburg, Russia results in 17 injuries and 1 death.

1/25/11 – 2000  Commonwealth Avenue in Boston collapsed 40 years ago today.  Also on this date in 2008 was a fire at the Las Vegas Monte Carlo Casino.

1/17/11 – Construction Accidents / Wall Collapse: has posted an update on the troubled building history of the developer for the Queens construction site where a wall collapsed on January 10 killing a construction worker.

1/14/11 – Historic / Threatened:  Examiner.Net of Independence, MO reports that the old Independence City Hall is once again empty, needs some structural repairs and is in need of repurposing in its 100th year.

1/10/11 – Historic / Demolition:  The roof of a historic theater in Syracuse collapses during demolition to ready it for repairs as reported by the Wall Street Journal.