by alyssa oshiro momohara brynn watanabe and royce miyahara l.
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By: Alyssa Oshiro-momohara, Brynn Watanabe, and Royce Miyahara. Sampoong Department Store Collapse. Seoul, South Korea. South Korea. A major international economic power. 12 th largest economy in the world and the 3 rd largest in Asia. Construction is King.

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south korea
South Korea
  • A major international economic power.
  • 12th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia.
  • Construction is King.
  • Industry has massive leeway to build whatever, whenever, and however they so desired.
sampoong department store
Sampoong Department Store
  • Five-story tall department store, complex.
  • 40,000 people shopped in the department store every day.
  • New pink edifice of commercialization.
background information
Background Information
  • Owner is Mr.Lee Joon.
  • Constructed in 1987.
  • Considered to be one of the “swankiest” stores in town.
  • Had everything under one roof, from a gourmet grocery to high-end clothing and cosmetic boutiques.
disaster strikes
Disaster Strikes!
  • 6:00 pm on June 29th, 1995.
  • In less than 20 seconds, the 5-story department store collapses into its four basements.
  • Estimated 1,500 unsuspecting shoppers and employees trapped inside.
  • Killed more than 500 people.
  • Injured over 900 people.
  • Resulted in about ₩270 billion (approximately US$216 million) worth of property damage.
so why did it collapse
So why did it collapse??
  • No signs of a natural disaster.
  • Was not a terrorist act.
  • No wrecking ball was in sight.
looking deeper
Looking Deeper
  • Architect’s drawings did not match the engineers calculations.
  • Still not within building standards the structure should have been safe because of the margins of error calculated into design standards.
management decisions
Management Decisions
  • Originally designed as an office building with four floors.
  • Mr. Joon carried out modifications over objections of the original contractors, whom he fired and replaced.
construction flaws
Construction Flaws
  • Foundation on a former trash dump.
  • Addition of the concrete slab for the 5th floor exceeded the design loads by a factor of 4.
  • Relocation of AC unit on roof damaged the roof structure.
  • Concrete was mixed with salt-water, speeding the deterioration of the steel used to strengthen the building.
construction flaws part 2
Construction Flaws Part 2
  • Rebars were centimeters thinner than regulations would allow.
  • Size of columns reduced from 80 cm to 60 cm (under regulation size).
  • 16 rebars per column was reduced to 8.
  • Support columns were cut away to accommodate escalators.
  • OVERALL-the strength was reduced by half.
  • Building showed cracking due to the overload.
  • Cracks appeared in the ceiling of the fifth floor.
  • A worker noted a gas leak but request to close store was denied.
  • At the day of the collapse, the ceiling on the fifth floor started crumbling.
  • The only response to this was an order from Mr. Joon to move the expensive merchandise from the fifth to the ground floor.
  • No further action was taken, nothing that would hinder the daily income.
  • It is considered the worst disaster in SouthKorea's (admittedly short) history as well as the worst structural collapse of a building in modern history.
  • Blamed for faulty design and shortcuts during construction.
works cited
Works Cited