[SOLVED] A suspended walkway in a hotel collapsed killing 114 people. The two walkways were suspended from a set of 1.25 in (32 mm) diameter steel (Links to an external site.) tie rods (Links to an external site.), with the second floor walkway hanging directly un

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[SOLVED] A suspended walkway in a hotel collapsed killing 114 people. The two walkways were suspended from a set of 1.25 in (32 mm) diameter steel (Links to an external site.) tie rods (Links to an external site.), with the second floor walkway hanging directly un
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A suspended walkway in a hotel collapsed killing 114 people. The two walkways were suspended from a set of 1.25 in (32 mm) diameter steel (Links to an external site.) tie rods (Links to an external site.), with the second floor walkway hanging directly under the fourth floor walkway. The fourth floor walkway platform was supported on three cross-beams suspended by steel rods retained by nuts (Links to an external site.). The cross-beams were box girders (Links to an external site.) made from C-channel strips welded together lengthwise, with a hollow space between them. The original design by Jack D. Gillum and Associates specified three pairs of rods running from the second floor to the ceiling. Investigators determined eventually that this design supported only 60% of the minimum load required by Kansas City building codes (Links to an external site.).

Havens Steel Company, the contractor responsible for manufacturing the rods, objected to the original plan, since it required the whole of the rod below the fourth floor to be screw threaded (Links to an external site.) in order to screw on the nuts to hold the fourth floor walkway in place. Indeed, these threads would probably have been damaged and rendered unusable as the structure for the fourth floor was hoisted into position with the rods in place. Havens therefore proposed an alternative plan in which two separate — and offset — sets of tie rods would be used: one connecting the fourth floor walkway to the ceiling, and the other connecting the second floor walkway to the fourth floor walkway.[21] (Links to an external site.)

This design change proved fatal. In the original design, the beams of the fourth floor walkway had to support only the weight of the fourth floor walkway, with the weight of the second floor walkway supported completely by the rods. In the revised design, however, the fourth floor beams were required to support both the fourth floor walkway and the second floor walkway hanging from it.

The serious flaws of the revised design were compounded by the fact that both designs placed the bolts directly through a welded joint (Links to an external site.) connecting two C-channels, the weakest structural point in the box beams. Photographs of the wreckage show excessive deformations of the cross-section.[22] (Links to an external site.)During the failure, the box beams split along the weld and the nut supporting them slipped through the resulting gap between the two C-channels which had been welded together, which contributed to the survivors’ reports of the upper walkway falling several inches as the nut was held only by the upper side of the box beams, before it too failed, allowing the entire walkway to fall.

Investigators concluded that the basic problem was a lack of proper communication between Jack D. Gillum and Associates and Havens Steel. In particular, the drawings prepared by Jack D. Gillum and Associates were only preliminary sketches but were interpreted by Havens as finalized drawings. Jack D. Gillum and Associates failed to review the initial design thoroughly, and accepted Havens’ proposed plan without performing basic calculations that would have revealed its serious intrinsic flaws — in particular, the doubling of the load on the fourth-floor beams. It was later revealed that when Havens called Jack D. Gillum and Associates to propose the new design, the engineer they spoke with simply approved the changes over the phone, without viewing any sketches or performing calculation.

What ethical rules were violated?

What are the consequences of violating an ethical rule?

If you were the manager how would you have avoided the problems?

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