The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 05 May 2015 00:00cat

Watergate Hotel Parking Structure Collapse

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A pancake collapse occurred on Friday at the parking structure that services Washington D.C.’s famed Watergate Hotel. The D.C. Fire Department responded to the failure as one person was injured. The multi-level partial collapse also affected cars parked in the garage. According to officials the area was under construction at the time of the collapse. The Watergate Hotel, which is part of the complex of offices and condominiums, is undergoing $125 million renovation. The 2600 block of Virginia Avenue was closed due to the incident.

“Please be aware that the Watergate Complex has suffered a partial collapse of two garage levels. A portion of the B-3 garage level is affected. The area around the Watergate East is cordoned off and access and exit to the area is restricted,” remarked Watergate building General Manager Jim Nitschke. “The fire department has directed that we take the precaution of evacuating the building and the plant that provides hot water, heat and cooling will be turned off as the situation is evaluated.”

Fire department spokesman Timothy Wilson stated that tree stories of the garage collapsed and that all construction workers were accounted for.

Gabriel Gresczyk, an on-site construction worker, said he heard a rumble and then saw a 40-foot-by-40-foot slab section fall, hitting the floor below it. This then caused collapse of the floor beneath.

Photographs from outside the structure showed that the structure may have had a green roof with trees and plants that fell into the collapsed area.

The Watergate building complex was evacuated after the collapse.


Sources:  CBS News, ABC News, WJLA

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