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Poor construction, mismanagement thought to have caused Gyeongju auditorium collapse Updated: 2014-02-19 06:35:31 KST

Poor construction, mismanagement thought to have caused Gyeongju auditorium collapse
It only took about 10 seconds for the roof of an auditorium at a resort hotel in the city of Gyeongju to collapse on Monday night.
Some 5-hundred-60 students from the Busan University of Foreign Studies were in the middle of an orientation event for the freshman class, when the ceiling started to crumble above a stage set up in the front.
Ten people have been confirmed dead and more than a hundred injured, with two people in critical condition.


"Everyone was sitting comfortably on the ground. But then everyone was heading to the exits all at once. It was total chaos."

As for what caused the collapse,
The area had received a record level of snow over the past week, and the snow that had piled up on the roof was estimated to weigh nearly 1-hundred-50 tons.
The building was huge -- at 900-square meters -- but had no pillars to support the roof.
Compounding matters, the ceiling and outer walls of the auditorium were made of sandwich panels, which are usually used to build temporary structures or storage spaces.
Sandwich panels are made out of thin steel plates filled with Styrofoam, and are known to easily absorb moisture.
Even though the snow seems likely to be the primary culprit, many experts are pointing to the weakness of the building structure as the main factor behind the collapse.
The government and the police have launched an investigation into how the building was constructed to determine whether the auditorium was up to code or built shoddily.
President Park Geun-hye, during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday morning, expressed grief over the tragic incident, and offered her condolences to the victims' families.
She also ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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