The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 26 September 2019 01:00cat

30-meter scaffolding crashed into a church in San Antonio

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30-meter scaffolding crushed into church in San Antonιο 30-meter scaffolding crushed into church in San Antonιο

A 10-story scaffolding collapsed into St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio on September 19, 2019.

The scaffolding was attached to a 14-story building, owned by AT&T, since January 2019 and restoration works were conducted. The structure was scheduled to be removed on September 23, 2019.

The scaffolding fell onto the 300 block of San Antonio's Martin Street also damaging several vehicles. The church's roof was damaged but the rest of the 160-year-old building was not affected. The roof opened and rain began to pour in. Moreover, the air-conditioning system was destroyed. The collapse sounded like a "plane crash" according to locals.

A 4-story, church-related building that hosts choir practice rooms, classrooms and offices and is located adjacent to the temple, was also damaged. Its condition will be soon evaluated.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities associated with the failure. Nevertheless, two parents and a kid suffered minor injuries as they were trying to get away from the toppling structure. Mary Jane Verette, San Antonio Parks Foundation President, witnessed the dramatic attempt of the family to escape. After the collapse, an officer was trying to calm the scared child. “It was a very emotional scene. The baby was scared, and the officer was just hugging him tight. I was just talking with some people about how we as a community need to make sure we are taking care of each other and supporting each other, and this was just the perfect example of this,” she said.

The incident occurred during a storm that struck San Antonio on the same day. The extreme weather conditions that were related to the devastating tropical storm Imelda, led to strong winds that reached up to 97 km/h that triggered the structural collapse. Currently, it is unclear how the structure was attached to the building's exterior.

The owners of the scaffolding did not acquire a permit since the regulations are not strict. “In the State of Texas, it is not required to obtain a permit for scaffolding and the City of San Antonio does not currently regulate it,” a short notice issued by city officials, stated.

Sources: TheRivardReportExpressNewsKSATFoxSanAntonio


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Scaffold collapses onto church into downtown San Antonio KENS 5

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