another reminder: building collapsed in tehran

30 06 2008

[By Shideh]   A 7-story building in Tehran collapsed today, sadly killing at least 3 people.  The design engineers and contractors have been arrested and they currently face trial. The mayor of Tehran, Mr. Qalibaf, has blamed the engineering community (Nezam e Mohandesi) for failing to properly oversee the design and construction practice and has requested the judiciary branch to penalize the responsible parties severely.


Photo courtesy of BBC


According to the ISNA news, the city of Tehran has evacuated the buildings around the collapsed structure until they are closely evaluated.

I’m glad that the media is giving this event proper attention and the responsible agencies are under the magnifying glass of national and international news sources.  It seems to me, however, that the city of Tehran, under the supervision of the new mayor, has improved to respond to such failures with a higher sense of authority and strength.  

I personally hope that the responsible parties, either engineers, contractors, or owners who did not design the building properly or did not completely evacuate the building on time after noticing the excessive settlement of the column, will be penalized with no room for bribery.  This is a fundamental step in training the engineering community toward ethical and responsible practice where negligence can lead to such life-threatening disasters. This event reminds me of an old post in which I wrote about a quote by one of my professors here in Berkeley: “you have the power of God in your hands as engineers, you can save lives and can take lives.”


My fellow aghaayoon va khaanoom haye “Mohandess”, let’s remember that with such power, comes great responsibility.




18 responses

1 07 2008

Thnx for this post! I read about it yesterday and was really disappointed. I was living in sa’adat abad area when this happened and the building was abandoned. it’s been 2 years now, and they did nothing for it until it collapsed and killed people! I remember a writing on its wall: “damet garm mohandes nazer”

1 07 2008

wow… the construction was stopped 2 years ago? It is disappointing that the city did nothing about it for 2 years until this happened.

1 07 2008

hmm yeah i think nearly 2 years, but what do you mean by construction stopped? people were living in that building when this happened.

1 07 2008

I’m not sure when this building was constructed. I was under the impression that the construction was stopped in the middle; but it may have been completed and then evacuated after excessive settlements. I found this comment on the BBC site that sort of explains what happened:

این ساختمان ازاواسط سال 84 بدلیل احتمال ریزش تخلیه شدوهرماه حداقل روزی یکبار شاهدتغییرات ظاهری در ساختمان بودیم ولی درجهت تخریب آن تا اوایل تیرماه 87صورت نگرفت وازاوایل ماه تیر 87تعدادی کارگر(حدود20نفر)درساختمانی که هرلحظه احتمال فروریختن آن میرفت مشغول جداسازی درب وپنجرهای آن بودند!کسی نیست بگویدجان حداقل بیست انسان با تعدادی آهن پاره برابری دارد؟به هرحال چندروزدیگرهمه این واقعه رافراموش میکنند..جزخانوادهای بخت برگشته یک مشت کارگرکه بایستی تاوان خودخواهی وطمعکاریهای اشخاص دست دراندرکاراین مسئله رابدهند. رضا از تهران

for the non-Farsi speakers: this person says that the building was evacuated in 1384 but no attempt was made toward its destruction until 1387 when a few workers were hired to take out the doors, windows, or any thing of value before destroying the place. In the process, sadly, the building collapsed while those workers were inside.
I wonder if the workers were informed about the risks involved in being inside the building; I would guess probably not. The collapse of this building also damaged an adjacent building.

1 07 2008

so its been 3 years 😐

1 07 2008

ohhhh! God! i just returned from vacation i heard about it from a Canadian friend who was kindly worried about my mum. you know? my mom is trying to sell my grandma’s old house (she passes away 2 years ago) so some engineer from the City has to come check the building for tax purposes so when he finishes his job he asks my mom if she wanted to be partners with him in renovating the very old building and selling it. my mom tells him that the house cannot be renovated and has to be demolished and rebuilt as its very old and has been vacant for so many years. he says he is the one who has to sign the permission so no worries and he goes on talking to my mum about how much money they can make and when my mum asks about the risks of a superficial renovation he answers “khoda bozorge, this house is located close to a mosque and nothing will happen to it!” can u believe this? i was disgusted as how easily some one can risk so many lives for a little profit and what is worse is that it seems people like him are those in power … its a sad story Shideh jaan
enjoy the rest of the week

1 07 2008

This is unbelievable. Is there a way to ask your mom to report this inspector to the city? I’m not sure if it’ll do any good, but it’s a step in the right direction. It might cost this guy his job; on the other hand, the people in charge may laugh and think everyone does the same thing. I’m not sure, but I think we need to do something about it. I wish there was a way to contact the mayor directly. Somehow I think he is different.

2 07 2008

Dear Shideh,
Hi, I found your comment on “Building collapsed” worthreading, however, I was wondering what do you mean by ” I think he is different” ( Mr.Mayor )

2 07 2008

Hi fjv,
thanks for visiting. What I meant by the mayor being different is that I have seen impressive and innovative improvements taking place in Tehran since he became the mayor. We wrote a post about an article in financial times a while ago that talked about him: click here

3 07 2008

mmm! i remember asking my mum the same thing but she laughed at me and said “rafti unja yadet rafte!” she said to whom should i complain? to his boss who is worse than him? i understand what she says and i wonder what i would do if i were her. i guess you have to adapt and adjust in order to keep ur sanity or at least this is what i hear a lot from people who live there. it is so sad…

7 07 2008

Shideh Jaan,
i put the recipe finally!

14 07 2008

I ran into this link, and I guess it’s relevant to this post…

18 07 2008

hi Shideh jaan,
hope a lot of good things are keeping you busy and away from writing!


18 07 2008

Negar joon,
thanks for stopping by and for the very interesting link. stay in touch

18 07 2008

Shadi joon,
thanks for your note and for being a wonderful reminder. it means the world to me.
I am not home right now, I’m away for an experiment which is keeping me extremely busy for the next 2 months. It is no excuse though, and I’m writing short posts here and there (dar oghat e faraghat :)) which still need to be completed. I still have plenty to say about my incomplete Sanandaj story. Bear with me 🙂

many many manyyy thanks and stay in touch
oh, thanks for the recipe!

25 09 2008

My family just got done going through the ordeal of our house being flooded, and we are still struggling to return to normalcy. The water damage in our house, especially our finished basement, is significant, and we are going to have to replace a lot of things.

25 09 2008

Dear Tina,
thanks for visiting this site. Where are you writing from? Please write more about the details of your experience and the positivies/negatives of emergency response by the authorities or anything that you want to share about the recent flooding. Do you have any pictures?

looking forward to hearing from you and I hope things will go back to normal for your family soon

8 08 2014
smoke damage

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my
blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time
and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your
new updates.

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