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Marquee collapse


Roderick

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Anyone with more detail about the collapse of a marquee in Joinville, France on the weekend?

 

Very sketchy information about several people injures, 3 critical.

Would like to hear more actual details, if available.

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No details and France 24 only has this para;

The extreme weather also wreaked havoc in the northeastern Haute-Marne region, where heavy winds blew over a giant pavilion in the town of Joinville, injuring 30 people, six of whom were said to be in serious condition, according to local authorities.

The region had 135,000 without electricity and 1000 repair men have been rushed in so the weather must have been atrocious.

 

Is "freak weather" the new "normal"?

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Is "freak weather" the new "normal"?

 

Just through personal observation and anecdote, the weather is more extreme and less predictable than it was a few decades back, thus your statement may well be valid.

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The only information I had was this article in a Dutch newspaper: http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2668/Buitenland/article/detail/3483008/2013/07/28/Gewonden-na-omwaaien-feesttent-in-Frankrijk.dhtml

It mentions that the marquee was lifted up and then crushed down on the dancing people.

 

And yes, I do think that weather patterns are changing.

Is it time we start reviewing our codes and standards for temporary structures?

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Is "freak weather" the new "normal"?

 

I'd put the more weather 'disasters' down to a number of things.

 

***More people in the world, and in places people have typically avoided due to 'bad weather/environment'.

The governement is planning a new township right nearby, on what every one knows is a flood plain. In 3 yars time when the new houses are built, and there is a 'flood disaster', people will claim it is a global warming catastrophe, rather than accepting that it was a bad place to build!

 

***People doing more outdoor/temporary performances, and more people attending.

Massive outdoor concerts used to be a rarity, as did large venues catering for massive rock shows. Entertainment used to be in the local town hall, or similar.

 

***The ability to report on things easily, and transmit them over vast distances.

It used to be we'd never hear about problems in other parts of the world, or it may have been in small print on page 30 of a newspaper, 2 weeks after it happened. Nowdays everyone is a reporter and can instantly send a photo/video worldwide.

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I agree, with certain reservations, Albatross;

Urban sprawl has brought more people into risky areas but there is statistically more risk as well.

There was a rise in outdoor performance but it also meant that more people were working on them and skills and experience levels went down. Too many saw others do it and thought; "I'll have a go at that" without realising the requirements.

Communication has got quicker and wider so perceptions among the masses may have altered but the pros always did have that information network. In the 70's and 80's if we were on one job we knew who was on the others and what went wrong. Not many could actually do what we did before aluminium trussing made it seem so easy. A smaller world.

 

I don't think we should rewrite the standards just apply them to the situation as it exists. RA's are, for me, organic and continuous, taking into account circumstances as they currently exist. What is needed is for there to be a recognition that things are getting more expensive as conditions deteriorate, as they are doing according to the Met Office, farmers, aviation, everybody with any knowledge.

 

There we run up against the only uncontrolled element of the business, promoters. What to do?

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What is needed is for there to be a recognition that things are getting more expensive as conditions deteriorate, as they are doing according to the Met Office, farmers, aviation, everybody with any knowledge.

 

There we run up against the only uncontrolled element of the business, promoters. What to do?

And therein lies the problem.

At the same time that we need to take things even more seriously, there is an influx of inexperienced operators with cheap imitation systems.

Add to the mix an uncertain economy causing tighter budgets for both punters and promoters and you really have a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.

 

What to do? Firstly I keep going back to my mantra: education.

Educate crew to what should happen, what the correct procedures are, that there should be procedures in the first place.

As an industry we have to self-regulate and empower everyone with the correct and reasonable information to do things safely.

And allow people to ask questions and raise concerns.

Secondly, specifically outdoors, are early warning systems. There is no excuse to have temporary structures go up without an anemometer on top of the roof.

There is no excuse not to have someone responsible to maintain contact with the bureau of meteorology about weather conditions.

There is no excuse not to have site emergency procedures.

Why do I still get blank looks when I ask people about these things?

 

The current legislation in Australia makes promoters the ultimately responsible entity on-site. Sadly very few recognise that responsibility and most still think they can get away with blaming someone else. It will take a well publicised court case to make them realise their duties but by then it will be too late for someone, and possibly the whole industry.

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The increase in such events would to seem to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the climate is changing, and rules need to be updated to allow for higher wind speeds than in years gone by.

 

It should be noted that in recent years a number of permanent structures have failed in high winds, despite complying with building regulations, this again points to to increasing wind speeds.

 

It is a matter of everyday observation that the climate is generaly warming, despite the odd cold spell. One only has to look at photgraphs of Alpine regions for example to see that much more snow existed decades ago, or remember snow laying on the ground from one week to the next in London.

Higher temperatures tend to lead to higher winds, since the greater heat input to weather systems results in more energetic weather.

 

Debate as to whether this is a man made or natural effect is too political to belong in these forums, but it is beyond all doubt that change is occuring and should be planned for.

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