Crater caused by Umno tower-top collapse raises questions

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Serious questions are being asked about the large structure that collapsed from the top of the Umno tower in Penang, leaving a huge crater on the road below.

Blog visitor Stephen shares with us his thoughts.

I just watched the TV3 news and TV7 about LGE and Z going on the ground to inspect the hurricane crater in Macalister Road. What puzzles me:

1. How can a car be ‘sunk’ 5 metres after the impact from the tower collapse? If the road is firm, the car will be flat and not submerged so deep? At the most 1 meter below original road level… the crater looks more like a road side bomb scene in Afghanistan.

2. If the tower hit the car, it means the car could have been moving and there would have been a driver inside. Where is the driver? The wheels and car parts have been found but no human remains?

Lesson to learn.. tall telco antennas or lighting rods on top buildlings can collapse … but Malaysia seems to be not a place to learn from mistakes …

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draftsman

after all the esperimental blunders this fella has designed, he now thinks he can retire and enjoy the fruits of his labour by developing some high end residential development in penang

user

this country is too littered with examples of contrived badly designed buildings by all these glorified draftmans that seem to demand admiration but are instead accidents waiting to happen during and after completion

Zack

There are several other building designed by him…a few in KL….all have this similar spire/tower on top design…jus google and see for your self…

Zack

Tunglang…then you should ask the architect Mr. Ken Yeang…He’s the architect of the building…suppose to be one of the best in the region…:)

Tigerz

As for finding the body, surely there must be a more scientific way of finding it. Pin point where the body is and then “surgically” dig it out. Maybe a dog, Or some sort of radar like
http://www.geophysical.com/gssifaqs.htm

tunglang

A 13 yr old boy physic ‘knew’ the spot where the victim’s body is still lodged.
Why can’t the authority try him in tandem with “surgical” rescue method?
Nothing tried, nothing gain.
Not a good proposition to have a haunted Macalister Road.

tunglang

If one study carefully the UMNO building from the perspective of Feng Shui, it has a number of supposedly bad Feng Shui in situ. It faces a road junction (Kek Chuan Road), a place of worship & a grave in front & the most deadly one being the giant ‘sword’ pointing the sky at the rooftop. I onced heard somewhere that this ‘sword’ would cause a life in the future. Walking to the entrance of this building, I had an uneasy psychic feeling due to the ‘dim’ atmosphere notwithstanding the numerous ceiling spotlights & a brightly lit home deco light… Read more »

loner6999

Why did a heavy concrete sit at the very top of a tall building? That is the part I can’t figure out.

Yang

It is part of the design and decoration for the Keris

rizal

Could this signify ‘keruntuhan Umno’ ?

SIM

cannot politicise but deep inside many of us feel that certain group should think twice again before carrying mock coffin etc that could raise the unwanted spirits to create havoc ………… let there be peace for all souls……

Zai

Takdir Tuhan!

user

inner city development do not need to follow the western oncept of city building, no place for high rises especially in malaysia where even the buildings are built by foreigners but designed by locals who foolishly think they’re masters at designing, commissioned by idiotic corporate clients demanding outlandish garish shapes and forms, just to proof malaysia boleh

sam

The main concern is ‘how did this 38m long concrete structure can break loose? Is it not supposed to be anchored securely at the base(the roof top)?

wee

Suggest the building structure of this Menara UMNO currently completely veiled beneath some aesthetic metal sheeting be revealed and inspected.

Jong

How often and when was the last time the maintenance team did a check on that massive structure for weakened anchors due to corrosion?

Yang

Anil, yes I think there are many such structure just like that for decoration purpose. its just that the structure is being built not so near to the edge and that they do not have such a wide span or maybe still new. If you look around, many signboard with wide span and the traffic light in my area were bended. Now as I look over many of the new buildings, I dread of think of such happening in the future. Some example are Oasis and the 4 blocks by Belleview behind 4 season. If you don`t believe, look over… Read more »

ongeusoon

sam,
you are right. The pole is not a structure that block the wind. It should not fell off just like that. If it is the lightning pole, then it is really unimaginable what would happen if lightning strike on the pole. A lightning pole should be secured to withstand the force of lightning which should be far greater than the wind.

Yang

Sam, I think I know how the 38 meters structure can break loose. The structure shaped like the head of the Kris is like a wall built on the edge of the top of the building. This wall is mostly probably built just like any normal wall with bricks cemented on top of each other. After 20 years the base and the wall itself would most probably had weakened or loosened and with such a wide span the wall would not have withstand the force of the wind that day. If the wall was built with cement poured over a… Read more »

Yang

I would not want to side any party but the building is already 20 years old. Moreover on that night the storm is just too strong never seen in the past many years. In this one hour the number of uprooted trees is staggering. Even the window pane of many apartment are twisted as a result it either could not be closed or open back and become out of shape. A day later the same thing also happen in the US if I am not mistaken with the same ferocity. Ferocious flood where I could not remember. The climate has… Read more »

ongeusoon

Underneath the surface of the earth around George Town areas are hollow spaces with water. The soils are porous and comparatively soft. With the antenna’s weight of 100 tonnage, the impact of the fall from the height of Menara Umno is beyond imagination. The body most likely fell into the underground water reservoir. The fear of sorrounding buildings might collapse is just the lousy excuse used by Lim Guan Eng to cover his rather undiplomatic and outrageous outburst against those hard working rescuers. His ultimatum for the rescuers to stop and allowed MPPP to takeover caused fear that no one… Read more »

tunglang

It is indeed very sad for the victim’s family having to wait with glimmers of hope & agony for many days to be eventually told that his body cannot be rescued. Can any of us empathise how heart wrenching it is to have one’s husband/father/son buried deep in the middle of a busy road for the rest of eternity? It is understandable for safety reason that the rescue have to be aborted prematurely, but was there any other options besides just digging a bigger hole which can destabilise the entire subterranean earth in water laden caverns? From the dismembered car… Read more »

ShakrinaLIkram

Only an Engineer can determine the impact of the lightning arrestor on LIM CHIN AIK’s car! The 33 year old died OTS, yet in LCA’s case on his car parts were found after digging more that 3 metres! Now he will be entombed there if the forensic Pathologist should declare him legally dead because they authorities could dig any deeper! They must be lacking in knowledge and equipment as fro the tyres and other parts found, the car is definitely no longer intact! We have no metal detector or similar detection devices as used in airport within this country that… Read more »

Laticia

1) Was the yearly inspection carried out by the respective government department responsible for all erected structures like telecommunication towers as required by law?

2) Are there records showing that yearly inspection was done on this particular structure?

3) Is there a government department that is responsible for yearly inspection of all public structures like bridges and other structures, including privately built telecommunication towers?

Sarimah

For strange reason, this incident gets very little reporting from Utusan.
Still we need to know if this lightning arrestor got any safety approval in the first place.

John Khoo

You should not compare with telco towers or antenna rods. The one that collapsed in this case is the structure that the antenna rods are attached to. Telco towers do not collapse due to wind as it is an ‘open structure’ where winds can flow through easily.

John Khoo

There are many types of structural failures such as compression, tension, shear, etc and many causes such as fire, bomb, wind, poor design, poor construction, erosion, fatigue, etc… In this case, it is most like to be a torsional failure whereby the tall mast has been twisted or contorted by the force or the flow of the strong wind which changes directions rapidly. In the original design, It may have been tested or designed for unidirectional wind flow but generally such test are done for the bending or flexibility of the structure. Steel is strong is tension while concrete is… Read more »

Wee

Its like piling, except in this case the concrete pile weighs 80mt measuring 38m long and dropped vertically from a 26 storey building.

barney

That is why the S&R work has to be halted. The authorities (perhaps) fear any further digging would result in the whole UMNO building to collapse.

user

the concrete spire was 38m long and fell straight down hitting the car, the crater that was dug was only 5m deep, which means the remaining embedded conrete and remains of the car is buried 30m deep in the ground