Wednesday, July 10, 2019


In the season finale of ‘Endeavour’ (“Deguello”) a tower block named Cranmer House, part of the Martyrs’ Field complex, partially collapsed because of “concrete cancer”.  It was built with shoddy construction practices and cheap, sub-standard materials – like sea sand.  That contained salt which corroded the rebar supporting the pillars.

This episode took place in the autumn of 1969, but its inspiration came from the Real World of the year before…...

From Wikipedia:
On 16 May 1968, a gas explosion in the kitchen of an 18th floor flat resulted in the collapse of the entire south-east corner of Ronan Point, a 22-storey east London tower block, killing four people and injuring 17. The disaster led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings and resulted in major changes in UK building regulations

Ronan Point was a 22-storey tower block in Canning Town in Newham, East London, which partly collapsed on 16 May 1968, only two months after it had opened. A gas explosion blew out some load-bearing walls, causing the collapse of one entire corner of the building, which killed four people and injured 17. Although there were few casualties, the spectacular nature of the failure (caused by both poor design and poor construction), led to a loss of public confidence in high-rise residential buildings, and major changes in UK building regulations resulted.

At approximately 5:45 am on 16 May 1968, resident Ivy Hodge went into her kitchen in flat 90, a corner flat on the 18th floor of the building, and lit a match to light the gas stove for a cup of tea. The match sparked a gas explosion that blew out the load-bearing flank walls, which had been supporting the four flats above. It is believed that the weaknesses were in the joints connecting the vertical walls to the floor slabs. The flank walls fell away, leaving the floors above unsupported and causing the progressive collapse of the south-east corner of the building.

The building had just opened, and three of the four flats immediately above Hodge's were unoccupied. Four of the 260 residents were killed immediately and seventeen were injured, including a young mother who was stranded on a narrow ledge when the rest of her living room disappeared. Hodge survived, despite being blown across the room by the explosion—as did her gas stove, which she took to her new address.


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