Accident Investigation & Reconstruction
Automated Retrieval System Failure Results in Catastrophic Fire at Storage Facility
The largest storage rack/ retrieval system, larger than two football fields and eighty feet wide was constructed to store 108 million pounds of paper products. On July, 2002, after two months of use, the facility collapsed and sparked a fire that destroyed the entire structure and 45 million pounds of paper. Nearly 50 fire departments responded to the inferno, which burned for three weeks. The owner of the facility sued a number of companies that included the contractor that designed and built the structure, a subcontractor, and the company that supplied the 110 foot steel columns.