Location: Enschede, the Netherlands
Failure: Roof collapse during extension work at the De Grolsch Veste stadium of FC Twente
Date: July 7, 2011
Architecture Firm: IAA Architecten
Structural Engineering Firm: VolkerWessels
On July 7, 2011, during work to extend the De Grolsch Veste stadium, the roof of the extension collapsed. FC Twente wanted to increase stadium capacity by further extending the L-shaped extension completed in 2008 into a U-shaped one [a].
The investigation conducted by the Dutch Safety Board revealed that the roof structure’s insufficient stability, and therefore the risk of collapse, was caused by several factors. The main factor was the absence of essential coupling pipes at the back ends of the roof beams and stabilizing connections in the roof structure. During assembly of the roof beams, steel cables were used as a temporary stabilizing measure. The last stabilizing cable was removed on the day of the incident. In addition, the roof structure was already being subjected to additional loading by a video wall, suspension bridges, piles of roofing sheets and the workers present. The investigation also revealed that the roof structure was being subjected to additional loading as a result of dimensional differences between the concrete beams of the stand, the foundation of the steel structure and the steel structure itself. These dimensional deviations in combination with insufficient adjustment options mean that parts of the roof structure could only be inserted by exerting deforming forces. The deformation caused additional tension that reduced the load-bearing capacity. The combination of tensions in the structure as a result of its own weight, dimensional deviations, the load already present and the absence of stabilizing measures caused one of the roof beams to fail as a result of the forces to which it was subjected, which initiated a total collapse [a].
As a result of this accident, twelve workers fell from a great height. Two workers were killed and nine injured, a few of them critically. One worker escaped with bodily injury [a].