Car park collapse

On 20/08/2017 10:20, ARW wrote:

And some better photos (sorry but it's the Daily Star)
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/638618/NCP-Nottingham-City-multi-storey-car-park-Cumberland-Place-collapse-car-dangling
--
Adam

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On Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:54:06 +0100, ARW

And you can see from there the 'sprung mounted' Armco that is quite common in such places.
Assuming it was sufficiently spaced from the wall that a vehicle hitting it gently didn't bend it back to the wall (it would have to 'spring a load of brackets to do that) so that you got a shock load onto the wall / cantilevered floor, it (the cantilever) does look like it's just too thin to reliably support any real weight (over and above itself and the wall etc) and not with any additional shock loads or decay.
I think the main floor part are often pre cast drop-in 'beams' with block infill and a solid surface floated over that?
As has been mention ... there seems to be a distinct lack of rebar visible on any of the broken edges. Nothing 'dangling' off it in any case?
Given the worst case loading scenario would be a (or several) fully loaded small van like the Transit Connect (with it's short rear overhang) where the rear axle could be on the cantilever rather than the car-park floor itself ... the chances are that overhang wouldn't typically see much load?
Unless the Tournio did actually hit the barrier and that was the final straw for that bit of concrete section, even if it had arrived loaded (with people in this case) I wouldn't have though it was that heavy (judging by the relatively light loads our daughters LWB connect can carry or tow) enough to put any critical strain on a properly designed structure. It would certainly apply a greater load on the cantilever than an average and especially 'booted' car though?
It will be interesting to see the results of any enquiry to find out if any mistakes / shortcuts were found in it's construction. Makes you think more of the sort of building work you hear of in India or Spain rather than England eh! ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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T i m wrote:

there seems to be an 'L' of rebar down the wall and under the cantilevered deck, but it only just seems to reach the main beams, I'd expect it to go a couple if feet into the main deck?
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wrote:

At least, and maybe one bar every 100mm or so (from what I've seen of such projects).
I understand the difference made to the bending / tensile strength of concrete by adding some steel reinforcement is enormous.
I saw a basic engineering science program on TV where they cast a small concrete 'bridge' (to go across a couple of bricks) and when someone stood on it it failed immediately. They cast another of the exact same CSA and mix but with a bit a rebar up the middle and that not only resisted being stood and jumped on and also didn't collapse when also being hit with a club hammer (but it did fracture etc).
Concrete may be fine for anchoring fence posts but not good for making them ... without reinforcement that is. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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On 20/08/2017 11:56, T i m wrote:

I think one can conclude that the design / construction was inadequate... in reality a car should be able to crash at speed into the side wall, and even break through it, but you would not expect the floor to fail along the whole side of the car park or the side wall to fail away from the impact site.
(I get the impression that cars hitting the sides of car parks at speed is a quite common occurrence - you only need see the number of reports of cars that manage to leap across streets from a high level and land up in or on buildings the other side of the road. Usually drivers with automatic transmission and a stuck throttle cable - they start it, think "oh its making a bit of noise", ignore that, then slap it in gear anyway. Next thing they know, it sets off like a scaled cat and does a good Batmobile stunt!)
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John.
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On Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:17:34 +0100, John Rumm
<snip> >> It will be interesting to see the results of any enquiry to find out

I wonder if anyone will get it in the neck for that if proven to be the case?

Agreed.

I think the main support posts seem to, considering how often you see them clad in steel, protected by some Armco or covered in car paint stripes! ;-(

Or between the car park and a boat even. ;-(
http://www.mosesinsurance.com/Portals/bmoses/images/car12-resized-600.jpg
Cheers, T i m
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Is that how a lot of these accidents occur - often involving elderly drivers. I'd assumed that the driver put their car in gear, touched the throttle slightly too hard and then panicked and hit the accelerator instead of the brake to get them out of the mess.
In a manual you'd have several opt-outs: you could press the clutch, you could take your foot off the accelerator and the car would probably stall rather than carry on crawling forward.
In any automatic car I'd always let the brake off cautiously, ready to re-apply it if the car did something unexpected, and then if all was well, transfer my foot to the accelerator to drive off.

That must have been going at a fair speed to jump across the gap and land with its front end on the boat rather than nose-diving into the water.
The only time I had problems with a stuck throttle cable was on my mum's (manual) car when I was learning to drive. I came to a steep up-hill so I changed down into second and pressed the accelerator down. As I came towards the top of the hill and changed up into third, the engine raced a bit but I thought I'd just cocked up the clutch/accelerator co-ordination. When I changed up into fourth, it happened again but I let the clutch up before my brain was fully engaged and had processed "that's twice I've cocked up - if there another explanation?". And the car, now on the level, took off like a scalded cat.
My first instinct was to press the clutch to disengage the engine that was propelling the car out of control, but I realised that it was not a good idea to relieve a fast-racing engine of all its mechanical load (!) so I pressed the footbrake hard and very gingerly turned off the ignition key, taking care to only turn the engine off, to the "accessory" position and not so far as to engage the steering lock (*) and let the car slow down, only then did I press the clutch to avoid the car lurching to an abrupt halt. It was a bit unnerving. My dad and I looked under the bonnet and sure enough several strands of the clutch cable had freyed off and were jammed inside the sheath of the cable. It was my dad who had the challenge of driving the car back home, using the slow-running control of the choke to vary the engine speed and not touching the accelerator pedal at all. All went well until we stopped to turn into the drive, and then he instinctively touched the throttle to set off, and the car careered down the drive towards the lounge window. He left some impressive skid marks in the gravel!
(*) I've since learned that steering locks don't work that way: the steering will remain free even if you turn the key right to the off position, and will only lock if you remove the key.
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<snip>

I had to move my mates Range Rover the other day and when trying to park it nose-on to the house wall again it went so far then didn't seem to want to go any further. I assume it's fitted with some form of crash protection (I wasn't going to press the throttle harder to find out!).

Quite.

Same here. A mate drives all autos with both feet ... that sounds very dangerous to me but he's done it for years.

I'm wondering if initially the boat was nearer, the car fell onto it and then the gap widened to the length of the mooring ropes or till the car grounded on the dock?

Makes the heart beat faster. ;-)

Well done. I would imagine many would have panicked.

I've had throttle cables snap (car and bike) but (luckily) only just give me no throttle.

Yup, that's what I did.

And elsewhere no doubt!

I'm not sure they all do / did but I don't think I'd like to test it ITRW just in case (and I might even kill the engine then put the ignition back on again (as it would also provide brake lights etc)).
Cheers, T i m
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My dad commented afterwards that the first he realised of the problem was when the car braked hard. I imagine I was stunned into silence while I dealt with the emergency!
I worked out afterwards that the force on each conn rod with an engine racing at 7000 rpm (the redline speed on cars that have rev counters, which this didn't) peaks at about the same as the weight of the car. I remember thinking, in the split second before I decided that pressing the clutch was a Bad Idea, that if the engine threw a piston, it would be "expensive" :-)

I suppose that if the cable hadn't frayed and then jammed in the sheath, all the strands would have broken one by one until one day mum would have pressed the accelerator and the car wouldn't have moved - and if that had happened just as she'd set off from a junction, she'd have been a sitting duck with vehicles bearing down on me. I've had that happen when my Golf Mark 3 developed intermittent problems with a throttle potentiometer in its drive-by-wire system (though it took many weeks to diagnose that cause): I pulled out from a junction, turning right, with plenty of room to spare and the engine died and wouldn't restart. I rammed it in first and cranked it with the starter motor until I was at least clear of traffic coming from the right, and let traffic coming from the left sort itself out. Luckily the car coming from my left stopped in time, amid a blare of his horn. He leapt out of the car, calling me every name under the sun, until I explained that the engine had died after I'd set off, at which point he apologised profusely and helped me push the car onto a pavement. After waiting ten minutes, the engine started fine and the car behaved faultlessly for a couple of weeks, when a bit of lumpy running made me cautious, so I made sure the engine was racing before I pulled out, just in case.
The car kept going into the garage and they could never find anything. Then one day I got a phone call from an ecstatic engineer who said that it had just happened for him while the car had diagnostics attached and so now he knew what the fault was. The cost of the part was a few pence. The cost of fitting it was half an hour's labour, but the cost of all that diagnostic labour was three figures. And the car was now a thousand miles over its warranty mileage. Luckily I could produce the last service bill, with a mileage recorded that was under the limit, which recorded "investigate intermittent poor running and loss of power on acceleration from rest" so I could prove that the car was well within warranty when I'd first reported it. VW insurance (with a certain amount of reluctance, the garage said) paid up!

Can't do that on a modern fuel-injected petrol or diesel car. I dare say we might have been able to rig up a piece of string from the throttle lever or the throttle potentiometer if there hadn't been the get-out of the slow running control on a carburettor. The ultimate "hand throttle" - a piece of string coming out of the bonnet and in through a side window to a loop on dad's finger!
I didn't have much luck with that car: on another occasion I'd reversed into a farm gateway while out practising for my test, and the gear lever linkage came off and the lever flopped upside down in my hand. I uttered the immortal words "it's not supposed to do that, is it?" :-) It was a Renault 6 which had a hockey-stick lever that came out of the dashboard (as on a Citroen 2CV) and the rod ran across the engine and then a plate welded to the end engaged with a conventional gear lever sticking out of the gearbox which was ahead of the engine. A rubber gromit in the plate had come out and allowed the plate to disengage from the lever.
On another occasion, after I'd passed my test, I'd dropped my mum at work and went into town. When I came back to the car, there was a huge gash in the front wing - we think someone in a pickup truck reversed into the car. I had to drive to pick up mum that evening, making sure I parked with the opposite side facing where she'd come out, so I had chance to explain what had happened before she saw it!
At least I didn't blow up the engine, which is what my sister did to mum's next car some year later. That car, a Renault 14, had a temperature gauge down by the (conventionally-placed) gear lever - well out of sight of the dashboard. There was no "high temperature" light on the dashboard. A hose had leaked and the engine had overheated - and the first my sister knew was when the car stalled and the starter wouldn't turn the engine. That cost a new engine - I remember us taking the car to a *very* dodgy garage in west London that her boyfriend knew of, to get as cheap a repair as possible. That car eventually was written off, again while my sister was driving, when a dustbin lorry ploughed into the back of her when she was stopped at lights.
As a family, we take great care of our cars - but my sister and I seem to have been very unlucky with unexpected things that weren't really our fault; one was due to atrocious design (fancy putting a temperature gauge where it's not in the driver's line of sight), two were things that even a service might well not have picked up, and one was someone else's fault.
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On Sunday, August 20, 2017 at 4:55:08 PM UTC+1, NY wrote:

No speed involved. The impact would push the boat away from the quay and it wouldn't take a lot of force to do it
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wrote:
<snip>

I suggest the impact (eg. sudden / short pressure) would need *huge* amounts of force to do it but pressure applied slowly wouldn't need much (depending on the size of the boat etc), as anyone who has ever played around in boats will attest.
Even a flat bottomed boat with little in the way of keels but with slab sides will often 'dig in' when you try to push it sideways (like a barge or narrow boat).
After all, that's why you need massive engines in tugs to move even small ships sideways (and do so slowly) and why they often launch ships sideways when they don't want it to go too far. ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v
KAWj7xqrE
Cheers, T i m
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Roland Perry wrote:

There's an armco barrier that was bolted to the deck inside the parapet wall, you can see it mangled on the ground ... presumably it was there to prevent vehicles barging into the wall?
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Mike Tomlinson wrote:

You are probably only seeing a small number of the cars, the front wheel drive cars having already been moved
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The indcident happened at 3.30am, and it was probably pretty empty. Aren't all the three vehicles shown FWD?
--
Roland Perry

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wrote:

The (what I believe is a) Transit Connect Minibus (not a 'people carrier' by our normal definitions) certainly is. ;-)
That said, I'm not sure all FWD vehicles could be guaranteed to drag themselves clear with the rear wheels hanging over the edge, depending on what sort of obstructions are hanging down under the vehicle and possibly caught up on the edge (especially with a potentially smooth car park floor)?
Cheers, T i m
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Indeed.
It's registered as a Turneo/Transit, and I was basing my initial comment on the fact I couldn't see a rear differential, and there was reportedly no damage to any vehicles (which would include the underside, presumably).
Confirmed: "Sharing few components with the much larger Transit, the Transit Connect was based on the front-wheel drive C170 platform shared with the international Ford Focus".
--
Roland Perry

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wrote:

(I couldn't make the reg out clearly so well done on that).
I believe they do the Tourneo in both the full fat and 'Connect' size transits so that might not say it all. However, the style and size of that van looked familiar to me. ;-)
FWIW, and ASFAIC, the full fat transits were originally RWD and then you had the option or R or FWD but now they may only be in FWD (but I've not checked). All the Connects are FWD AFAIK (for reasons you state later).[1]

I think there would always be some sort of damage if you drop a vehicle onto components that weren't designed to carry that sort of weight (like exhausts or sills etc) but you could get lucky and have it land on say the rear suspension arm mounts (which are generally quite substantial) you might get away with it. But agreed, not the sort of 'damage' that you would typically get when you drop a lump of concrete *on* a vehicle or one fully drops off a ledge etc. ;-)

Quite. Our daughters Connect is parked outside and we have bought several parts for it that were labeled Focus / Connect / Others (Transit / Mondeo / Fiesta?).
Cheers, T i m
[1] Except this one: ;-)
https://passionford.com/forum/restorations-rebuilds-and-projects/367318-cosworth-connect.html
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The collapse happened at 4am, so the park was probably mostly empty.
--
(\_/)
(='.'=) "Between two evils, I always pick
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What I find strange is that the Council have apparently told the BBC that it is nothing to do with them because it is privately owned. I would have thought that the council would be involved in both finding out whether it had been built according to regulations and whether it was a danger to the general public around. Unless no part of it is near a public place, which seems unlikely.
--

Roger Hayter

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I agree. They surely have a duty to the public regarding the safety of buildings in general, let alone (more) bits of buildings falling onto the highway. They've even got a contract out:
http://www.sourcederbyshire.co.uk/contracts/show/id/12347
Probably talking to the wrong department (parking rather than Building Control).
NCP appear very relaxed - "a bit of the facia fell off - so what?"
--
Roland Perry

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