What caused Abadan’s Metropole building to collapse?


Table of Contents

Preface: Abadan Disaster In May 2022

The 10-storey building is located in a busy area in downtown Abadan.
It crumbled on the surrounding shops and cars. Rescue workers estimate that 50 people are under the rubble.

The Metropole building was an unfinished twin tower. One of the twins in the building crumbled, and local authorities warn that the adjacent twin could also fall at any moment.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation, but experts say faulty design and construction is the major cause of the incident.

Our study on the disaster based on photographs

Thus, what has been evaluated based on the available evidence is based on evidence and omens, and so far, due to the environmental conditions of the accident, it is not possible to study the environment, and in the near future, it will be possible to change some views in this comparison. This article is just a simple take on the technical aspects of developing such a high-tech structure.

1- It is clear in the pictures that the welds are very weak to the point of welding and the connection plates are practically connected to the skeleton with weak welding lines. As is quite clear in the pictures. Meanwhile, according to reporters, the complete destruction has continued continuously, which can be a sign of continuous and continuous destruction due to the failure of connections.

2-Failure of one connection and increase of load and redistribution of imposed load to other connections will progressively damage the structure and will continue until it reaches equilibrium. The grade and shape of the waffle concrete slabs and the air humidity during the curing period of the high roof are also considered to be very effective in this destruction. In addition, due to the small number of columns and also the thinness of the columns, which in my view is manipulated in the design of the structure, as well as the addition of three floors in addition to 9 floors designed in the first design and also low uncertainty in structures, which are in the pictures. It causes easily due by many accidents and vibrations, the building leads to collapse, which is also significant here.
Of course, not hidden:
Due to the perimeter shear wall and also the reduction of the columns inside the building and perhaps the non-observance of discontinuous joints, the moment resilience of the columns is greatly reduced and the weakness in the strength of the columns inside the building has caused the internal collapse of the building.
Since the behavior of the building after the completion of the work is an important part of periodic visits, it is very surprising that due to the buckling of the middle columns and the rising of the roof in the lower floors, no regulatory body has reported evacuation or re-strengthening of the building. And unfortunately, with the issuance of the end-of-work license, the owner has easily provided the property to the buyers commercially and administratively.
However, this building does not even have the capacity to carry its dead load, and the behavior of the structure after the completion of the roof steps fully confirms this fact.

3-A basic point for the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, municipalities and engineering systems, and design engineers:

The use of waffle roofs (also used in this building) are unfortunately used without rules and I have no doubt that for various technical reasons, it will cause a lot of destruction in the future of the country.
Perhaps I can boldly say that we have not yet been able to promote the proper technique of using such methods in the country, and unfortunately the executors without any training and academic knowledge, even the first, because of the benefits of these methods in the implementation of buildings, which is also very important. They enjoy exploiting.

4-By studying and reviewing the existing experiences in visiting such roofs, in general, the inability of these roofs, both in design and execution, is very evident, and despite the insistence of employers in many significant and highly sensitive structures of the country due to strong relationships of contractors. The type of roofs with employers and higher costs have done projects all over the country that I am really worried about their fate, and perhaps such events are a lesson for those experts who insist on designing and implementing such structures, Therefore, until the status of their design, construction, and safety is fully clarified, which of course is completely clear to experts, their structural behavior and their limitations, their use is considered incorrect, and their consumption should be avoided except with special conditions as well as consultants and supervisors. Strong and skilled in such design and implementation.

5-Another serious testament to the aftermath of crisis management is:

Do not use heavy equipment and machinery for the first few hours in the relief operation, which must be observed, and the safety distance to be controlled due to vibrations to prevent falling again.
Because some people under the rubble may still be rescued, historical evidence shows that in certain cases where ventilation and water are available to detainees, it may take up to a week or two days.
In debris removal, I strongly recommend not to count on the connections with the conditions seen in the pictures in any way, and after amputation of the limbs to be removed at the joint so that it does not cause further impact and damage and injury to prisoners.
Having several experienced and skilled welding crews with all the equipment to build a temporary retaining and retaining structure to prevent the rest of the building from collapsing is another serious recommendation of mine, but this must be done in coordination with the structural designer.

6- Another difficulty of the last few years in Iran goes back to the price of goods and services, so, unfortunately, with the increase in the cost of electrodes and efficient welding forces after the high prices of recent years, we must see more such incidents and most importantly finally <a Today we must learn> that not every design is a structural designer and not every retrofit is a retrofit!
In such events, it is clearly shown that the country still has a serious weakness in the import of modern construction technology, science, and knowledge, and we must put aside any sensitivities and tendencies towards buying and importing up-to-date knowledge and correct techniques used in the world from countries. Leading the industry, minimize the serious risks of such catastrophic events.


7- Final note:

In this article, I mentioned structural behavior and the meaning of this word refers exactly to the view and attitude of the structural designer, parts, and organs of supervision and control of the building, as well as the conscience of the owners.
What I mean in the final section is that the behavior of a structure after each step and finally after normal (loaded) loading can be a very serious warning to continue or stop working.
As you can see in the photo above, the roof is visible, and in other photos, the inability of the middle columns of the building to be loaded due to thinness and lack of proper welding, and the biggest problem, the lack of attention of the monitoring device has caused such an event.
Of course, I emphasize once again:
This building collapsed and due to the increased sensitivity of public opinion, its design, calculation, and execution defects were examined, but how many buildings of medium and high importance are there in the country whose structural behavior is estimated by a team of experts to thousands. The various reasons are not examined.
We must not forget that the accident is always lurking, and prevention is hundreds of times better than cure.
The entry of any investor in any industry is very dangerous due to having the high financial capacity and without knowledge and awareness, and maybe it is time to amend the rules so that the capital of these investors can move purposefully and with a load of knowledge and science, otherwise capital and time And human lives are the first cases that will be seriously damaged, and the result of these tragic events will affect society and the ruler.


All the copyright of the above technical note related to Seyed Ebrahim Masoumipour

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(NICKNAME: ALBORZ PARSA)Civil Engineering with experience with above 20 years in WASTE WATER Projects and Project management and entrepreneurs in Environmental and crisis management projects.

After University graduated in 1998, I was working in a road construction workshop in Tehran (Yadegar highway) for 4 years, and after finished then,I was working in the construction Building workshop Tower(Mess) for 2 years, and after finished, then I established a construction company in IRAN (R.J.K . CO) and was working as managing director for 18 years, and established a company in Europe and researcher in environment and Sustainable Development, Anzaly Wetland, Saravan Jungle in Gilan/IRAN, Hourolazim wetland till now.

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