This is from the April 29 Globe and Mail and updates info you may have heard of earlier. To finish this story go here:
Vibrations from dancing may have collapsed church floor
JEREMY NUTTALL Special to The Globe and Mail
April 29, 2008
The collapse of an Abbotsford church’s floor during a Friday night concert could have been triggered by vibrations from dancing concertgoers, a structural engineering expert says.
Around 9:15 p.m. a seven-metre-square hole opened up, dumping dozens of people five metres into the church basement and sending more than 40 to hospital.
“It [the floor] likely wasn’t built for dancing,” said Steve Taylor, a structural engineering instructor at the University of British Columbia.
Young people were attending a concert by the Christian rock band, Starfield, at the church when the floor gave way under the 70 people dancing in front of the stage. Furniture fell on top of some of the victims and they were drenched by water from burst pipes. Most suffered minor injuries. A 41-year-old woman is still in hospital after undergoing surgery for head and spinal injuries. She is listed in stable condition. [see our postscript below]
According to the National Building Code, a hall used for events at which people would be dancing requires the floor to hold twice the weight of the building, Mr. Taylor said. The code says a floor constructed for dancing needs to be able to support 489 kilograms of force per square metre. One with fixed seating, such as bolted down pews, can hold 244 kilograms of force per square metre if the seating covers 80 per cent of the floor.
Pastor Chris Douglas from the Central Heights Church said the bolts securing the pews to the floor had been undone.
“It’s so we can pick them up and move them,” he said. He has also said an engineer investigating the incident told him one joist may have initially failed, causing the rest to give way.
It doesn’t seem however that it’s the case that there were no injuries. A 41 year old woman was put into a medically induced coma following spinal surgery. See that story here.