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Lessons to be learnt from the recent spate of disasters

 
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alpa_sheth
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2024 5:25 am    Post subject: Lessons to be learnt from the recent spate of disasters Reply with quote

1/7

Dear All:

We have had a spate of infrastructure failures which, after the din of the political slugfest is over, points, squarely to the construction industry. We need to reflect on this. Let's have a long debate on this and may be we could have an e-conference on this issue where larger participation form SEFI members can be made possible.

a) 5 bridges collapse in Bihar.
b) Rajkot canopy failure
c) Collapse of part of Delhi T1 Terminal
d) Jabalpur airport terminal partial collapse.
e) Collapse of roads in Gujarat
f) Leaking trains stations and airport terminals

The list is long but for now, let's focus on these 6 issues.


As a start,  I will write what little I know about these incidents in 6 different posts. I hope learned SEFIans will populate the topic with their insight and with more information. The objective of this discussion is on how to, going forward,  improve the quality of our infrastructure, based on "Learning from Failures". It is not about railing against corruption, incompetency, education system, nepotism etc. That will get us nowhere.

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness".

Best Wishes,
Alpa Sheth
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alpa_sheth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2/7

Collapse of 6 bridges in Bihar
– Alpa Sheth & Alok Bhowmick


(There was an additional bridge that collapsed on June 30 in Bihar and hence 6 bridges, not 5)

Bridge #1
Location: On Bakra River at Sikti, Araria District
Age of Bridge: Newly Constructed (Collapsed before inauguration. Since approach road to the bridge was still not completed, no traffic was plying on the bridge)
Date: June 18 2024

Details: Numerous spans  of an under construction bridge (Budget: Rs 120 million)  collapsed along the Bakra river in the Sikti block in Bihar’s Araria district. No Casualties were reported.
Possible Cause: Failure of foundation, which can be due to excessive scour, which might be due to discharge in river in excess of design discharge and/or due to underestimation of scour depths    

Link to the collapsed bridge video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeXC_zbQeVc


Bridge # 2
Location: Over the Gandak River in Siwan District
Age of Bridge: 40-45 year old
Date: June 22, 2024

Details: The 2-span bridge gave way due to loss of intermediate support (central pier). The bridge pier collapsed by rotating along the traffic direction. This was not a sudden collapse and there were no casualties.

Possible Cause: The pier foundation failed due to excessive silting on one span and constriction of waterway on the second span, which resulted in excessive scour on one side of the pier, creating obvious imbalance. The failure could be avoided if only the silting of the 2nd span could be cleared as a part of maintenance.

Link to the collapsed bridge video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNpU58jXm9Q

Bridge # 3

Location: Motihari, East Champaran
Age of Bridge: Under Construction
Date of Collapse: June 23 2024

Details: A minor bridge (Budgeted Cost RS 15 million) of less than 18 m length with 2 spans  collapsed during construction

Possible Cause: From the video records at the time of failure and information available, it appears this was a failure of staging of one of the span, which caused this collapse. Clearly the staging got washed away under water current of the stream. Contractor did not anticipate water flow and took the risk of constructing the slab -n-situ, which led to this disaster. This seems to be a case of negligence on the part of authorities as well as Contractor. In-situ construction just before monsoon on a stream was a wrong decision.

Link to the collapsed bridge video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X2rLnFYorc


Bridge #4
Location: Bridge on Mariya river, tributary Kankai and Mahananda rivers in Kishanganj.
Age of Bridge: Built in 2011
Date of Collapse: June 27 2024.
Details: On Wednesday, June 27, a portion of the bridge, 70 metres long and 12 metres wide, collapsed, rendering it untraversable.

Possible Cause: One of the piers of the bridge underwent significant settlement  due to a combination of scouring, foundation settlement  and effect of strong currents of the river.
Link to the collapsed bridge video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAIO2MgrlOY

Bridge # 5.
Location: Jhanjharpur, Madhubani District
Age of Bridge: Under construction.
Date of Collapse: June 28, 2024  

Details: The 75 m long bridge was under construction since 2021. The bridge appears to have  3 spans,  each of 25m with each span having  multiple girders. On June 28, 2024, it was revealed that one of the girders under construction had  collapsed. From what one can see from the video,  the bottom flange of the girder had been cast and the shuttering of the web is supported on some sort of scaffolding resting on the river basin. It is likely that in normal times, the river is quite calm and shallow and in all probability the rest of the (still) standing girders were cast in this way.


Possible Cause: It is very surprising, indeed incomprehensible that  the contractor and the supervising authority would consider executing the construction of a girder  of the bridge just before the monsoon. The scaffolding, which was supported on the river bed, gave way when the water level in the river started rising and flowing with high velocity. Also note how the shuttering on either side of the web of the girder that was to be cast just came apart like a house of cards. There is not a single through-bolt in the shuttering.
This can be considered a man-made disaster. This is not just incompetence but negligence and wilful blindness to the climatic situation at hand.

Link to a video of the fallen bridge https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1045671166913807.


Bridge # 6

Location:
Age of Bridge: Built in 2007-08
Date of Collapse: June 30 2024.

Details: In yet bridge incident in Bihar, a pier of a bridge settled by over 30 cms in Thakurganj, Kishanganj district. The bridge cracked significantly making it dangerous for use. The bridge is the main connection between numerous villages.  

Possible Cause: From the visuals available, the bridge looks old and very poorly maintained. As the bridge comprises of numerous simply supported segments, settlement of one of the piers renders the bridge unsafe for use by  vehicles.
Foundations issues seem to be the primary reason for the settlement of a support. This may be due to the inadequate depth of foundation, inadequate size and spread of the foundation, inadequate soil bearing capacity or scouring, or most likely a combination of the above factors.
Poor upkeep and apparent negligence of the bridge may be considered to be one of the key causes of the present situation.
Picture of the Settled Pier of Bridge: (See Attachment)










Disclaimer: The above opinions expressed regarding the cause of failure are based on information available in the public domain, in print media, and in electronic media. These are only possible causes. Real cause of failure can only be brought out after carrying out a thorough forensic structural engineering.



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badamsundararao
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009
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Location: KAKINADA ANDHRA PRADESH

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 4:08 pm    Post subject: CANOPY FAILURE Reply with quote

The reason for Failure of Canopy at Terminal 1 of Delhi airport may be due to choking of Drainage pipe and stagnation of water on canopy, which is generally not designed to withstand such live loads. Same thing is possible even on Flat roofed structures terraces also. Generally Terrace floors will be designed for alive load of 1.50Kn to 2Kn per sq.m. If drainage is blocked and if water is stagnated to the Parapet wall height, the Live load will workout to 10Kn per Sq.m and there is every possibility for failure of the floor, hence it is very much needed to inspect the Terrace floor during Rainy season at regular intervals to protect from failures.
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bijoyav
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Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2024 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: CANOPY FAILURE Reply with quote

badamsundararao wrote:
The reason for Failure of Canopy at Terminal 1 of Delhi airport may be due to choking of Drainage pipe and stagnation of water on canopy, which is generally not designed to withstand such live loads. Same thing is possible even on Flat roofed structures terraces also. Generally Terrace floors will be designed for alive load of 1.50Kn to 2Kn per sq.m. If drainage is blocked and if water is stagnated to the Parapet wall height, the Live load will workout to 10Kn per Sq.m and there is every possibility for failure of the floor, hence it is very much needed to inspect the Terrace floor during Rainy season at regular intervals to protect from failures.



From today onwards we engineers (& architects) should create a maintenance schedule of buildings / or any facilities being created. We develop beautiful buildings / facilities. But we lack maintenance. To facilitate this, we should develop a maintenance schedule similar to that of cars. It should include daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or seasonal schedules...

Such a schedule will help to maintain public buildings owned by Government. Also, a list of contractors capable of doing such works to be identified and empannelled.
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