Two Structural Failures on April 26th

By definition, a failure in structural engineering is that condition of a structural element (or its material components) which renders it incapable of continuing the load-carrying function for which it was designed; may be caused by fracture or by excessive and permanent plastic deformation.

I have found there are many records of structural failures for any day of any year. Most structural failures result in loss of property, injury, or loss of life. Therefore, the structural engineer has a serious obligation to check, double check and triple check the engineering design of any structure he or she is engineering.

Following are two structural failures from newspaper archives that occurred on April 26th:


La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press, Page Five, Sunday Morning, April 27, 1941.

Woman Killed, 6 Hurt In Building Collapse

Cairo, Ill. -- (AP) -- One woman was killed and six other persons injured, one seriously, in the collapse of an old brick building at the corner of Sixth and Commercial streets here yesterday.

The dead woman was tentatively identified as Mrs. George Reid.

Her husband was reported critically injured.

Five other persons were rescued and taken to a hospital. The extent of their injuries was not known immediately.

Police said they believed only seven persons were in the building at the time. What caused it to collapse and crumble was a mystery. Witnesses said they did not hear an explosion.

The building housed a small laundry on the main floor. Several persons lived upstairs.



Beckley Post-Herald, Page 1, Beckley, W. Va., Monday Morning, April 27, 1964.

16 Hurt As Circus Bleachers Collapse

PRINCETON (RNS) -- Sixteen persons were treated for minor injuries here Sunday following the collapse of a section of bleacher seats at the Al G. Kelly Brothers circus.

Mayor Tom Jones said the seats gave way inside a large tent set up by the circus for its show in the Stumpy Bottom section of Princeton.

Jones said he was sitting in the eighth row of the section when the bleachers trembled, swayed to the left and collapsed on the ground.

All those injured were released after treatment at Memorial Hospital.

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