Clipped From The New York Times

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 - rec-onimended of the cut the to in on 20 at...
rec-onimended of the cut the to in on 20 at se-i Amer-! It COLLAPSED THEATRE HAD 21 WEAK SPOTS Evidence of Inferior Work in Washington Structure Found by Engineers. WORKMAN SAW A DEFECT He Testifies Building Superlntan-dent Laughad Whan Ha Told Him of Hi Feara. WASHINGTON. Feb. 7. A list, of twenty-one " evidences of work of an Inferior grade for rfuch an important structure " was submitted late today In an exhaustive report on the collapse of the Knickerbocker Theatre by five army and navy engineers at the Coroner's Inquest into the disaster. The fall of the theatre's roof, with the loss cf ninety-eight lives, the report stated, was " a direct result of failure to sufficiently provide for the unusual conditions existing at the Junction of the curved Columbia Road wall to the stafe wall.'! The report of the army and Tisvy engineers' investigation was submitted after testimony had been given earlier in theday by Robert Henry Davis, engineer In the District of Columbia Building Inspector's office, to the effect that iron construction Intended to support the roof of the theatre was below the requirements of the plana for the building riled in the Inspector's office. The 21 " evidences " of weakness In the structure, as set forth In the Army and Navy experts' report, follow: Use of tile walls to Carry heavy concentrated loads. The unusual height and length of the unsupported tile wall on Columbia Road. Lack of a column with knee brace or pilasters under the main truss at ne wall. . Inadequate bearings of beams on the tile wall with small bearing plates, regarded aa particularly Important In con nection with the " Skew bearings. Absence of concrete fill In the tile at beam bearings with wail bearing plates on edges of tiles. Insufficient anchorage of steel to walla . . Roof slab too thin for span and. loading and Insufficient steel reinforcement. Absence or restraint ai aiaea vi rwi alabs. , . Ceiling load concentrated In centre of roof slab. Short bearing of main truss on lintel, and trun not stiffened for bearing. Absence of bracing between steel members, aud particularly at ends of main truss. No stiffness In connection of main I ni.i to calumn. Use of bolts instead of rivets on all field connections nd insufficient bolts at truss connections. rnlnmn ton an ft anilces not milled. Reinforcing steel in roof slab was not raised over the beams to take negative hniltnr aver aukiDorts. No evidence of Increase of enforcement fn end nanels of slabs. HeaaV load of nine and one-half Inches of cinder concrete fill at centre of drainage ridge. Loads of ventilating" equipment where cinder fllLoccurred and absence of spe cial bracing to take vibration. Defective detailing as witnessed by ah sence of splices for chord and end post cover plates.- . All tile not 'hard burned and some have scant webs and walls, notably at top of Columbia Road wall. Insufficient bonding between front and back, lite in uoiumoia itoaa wait. WASHINGTON. Feb. 7. Iron con structicn Intended to support the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre, the col lapse or which cost the lives or ninety eight persons, was weak in certain points snd was beiow the requirement of the plans submitted for the construc tion or the theatre. Kobert Henry Lavls, engineer In the District of Col um bit Building Inspector's office, today testi fied at the opening of the coroner's In- auest into the catastrophe. Mr. Davis expressed the opinion. In reply to questions, that the insufficiency of the construction1 " should have been discovered by proper Inspection. Plans of the building on file in the Inspector's office, the witness testified. called for a main truss nine Inches long er than that which, on inspection of the ruins, he round had been used. The plans were approved, he testified, and a permit issueel forthwith without the builder being required to furnish de tailed specifications, as id usually the case, ror all metal work. J. C. Donaldson, an iron worker, de dared he had reported to those In charge or construction that two or the beams being placed in the building were short er than would, seem to be required, These beams went over the Stage, he said, and lapped over their I supports only one or two Inches. The building superintendent laughed at him. the wit ness said, when he announced that he would never witness a performance in the building because of the danger. Two of those in the theatre on the night of the tragedy declared the. break in the roof started over the stage.

Clipped from
  1. The New York Times,
  2. 08 Feb 1922, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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