Engineers work on plan to prevent further collapse of building

first_imgClick to enlarge Engineers are working to determine the best plan to prevent further collapse of a west Vancouver warehouse.Emergency crews were called to Vancouver Warehouse and Distribution Co., 1101 W. 11th St., about 2 p.m. Tuesday after the main floor gave way and an estimated 400,000 pounds of lead ingots fell on top of chemicals stored below.Crews worked into the late hours of the night to shore up the building’s exterior wall, which backs up to the BNSF Railway tracks. Trains were not allowed through the area for several hours over concerns that the vibrations could cause more of a collapse.City of Vancouver Building Official Sree Thirunagari said the worry is there is still a lot of lead on the compromised floor above rubbing alcohol stored below. Because of that, the building was condemned.“With all the weight still there, it’s still a precarious condition,” he said.Engineers from Vancouver’s Kramer Gehlen & Associates, Inc. are working with city engineers to develop a plan to shore up the entire building. They conducted a brief survey of the building, accessing it from the east side.“Our immediate goal is to prevent further collapse and remove the excess weight,” Thirunagari said. One option is to send someone into the area on a boom lift and remove each ingot one at a time; Thirunagari described the lead ingots as oversized bricks. He added the team also wants to either relocate the chemicals or “put some shoring around the chemicals so that if there’s further failure, it does not cause a hazmat situation.” Portable mechanical ventilation will help air out the lower level.last_img

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