Roof Collapse Smashes Luxury Cars

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND--Authorities are trying to determine what caused the roof of a new Audi dealership building to collapse, damaging 34 luxury vehicles.

No injuries were reported when a section of a rooftop parking area dropped into a workshop area below it about noon on June 1. The incident occurred at the Jardine Motors Group facility in Milton Keynes.

The dealership has not released damage estimates, but reports suggest that the cars alone were worth £300,000 ($472,606 USD). Six of the vehicles belonged to customers.

‘Lucky Escape’

The cause of the failure was still under investigation Monday (June 29), but the building has been deemed safe, Jardine Motors reported on its website.

The staff had a “lucky escape” after the collapse, thanks to quick thinking by managers, Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue officials told the BBC.

“People working within a workshop heard a loud bang and promptly hit the fire alarm call point,” said Ian Wilson of the Fire and Rescue team.

“Within 20 minutes, a third of the floor above the workshop collapsed.”

The collapsed portion reportedly measured 656 by 328 feet. Initial reports of damage to 10 to 20 vehicles proved inaccurate.

Load within Design Limits

The £8 million ($12.6 million USD) building opened in November 2014. The structure was “specifically designed and constructed to include a car park above the workshop area, accessible by a ramp at the rear of the building,” a company spokesman told the BBC.

At the time of the collapse, commercial director Jason Cranswick said the parking area's load was “significantly within design limits.”

Audi Dealership
Jardine Motors Group

Jardine Motors Group says the building has been deemed safe after the "major incident."

Having a parking area on the roof was not a “unique feature for a modern car dealership,” he said.

Moving Forward

While the workshop facilities are being rebuilt, Jardine Motors said it had temporarily relocated its workshop to another area of town.

Customers whose cars were damaged have received courtesy vehicles while permanent replacements are arranged.

The company's showroom reopened June 15.

Similar to Sinkhole Case

Images from the Audi scene, showing a mashup of shiny vehicles, were reminiscent of an incident that occurred Feb. 12, 2014, at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

National Corvette Museum

Eight historic Corvettes were damaged when a sinkhole opened up beneath a showroom at the National Corvette Museum.

There, a sinkhole 45 to 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep, opened up under the showroom and swallowed historic vehicles, according to security footage. No injuries were reported.

Eight Chevrolet Corvettes, including the historic 1 millionth Corvette, were involved in the incident.

Work is ongoing to restore many of the damaged cars, according to a June 10 update on the museum’s website.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Building Envelope; Building envelope; Commercial Construction; Concrete; Design; Europe; Parking Garages; Roofing materials

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