A young boy was killed when the roof of an indoor swimming pool collapsed on top of him, trapping him under the debris.
The incident happened at the Hampton Inn in York, Nebraska, about 100 miles west of Omaha, on July 3 just after 9 p.m.
According to York News-Times, first responders “found the roof had collapsed into the pool and around the walkway in the pool area.
Officers at the scene said they arrived at the hotel to find a young boy who was 'trapped inside the pool room beneath debris.'
The boy was the only person trapped, and he died before he was found by first responders, police said. Officials were able to evacuate the remainder of the building and secure the area. About 40 hotel guests had to be relocated.
Although police said the fatal roof collapse is under investigation, pool roof collapses have been known to happen before.
In 1985, 12 people were killed in Uster, Switzerland, when the concrete roof of a swimming pool collapsed after thirteen years of use. The roof was supported by stainless steel rods, which failed due to stress corrosion cracking.
Other incidents have occurred that were associated with the use of stainless steel in load-bearing applications in indoor swimming pools and leisure centers.
Investigation of the Switzerland incident by the Federal Materials Testing Inst i t u t e , b a sed in Duebendorf, Switzerland, and the Federal Materials Research and Testing Institute of Berlin concluded that the collapse was the result of chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking. The steel rods were pitted, causing the roof to cave in. Unable to bear the load, the roof collapsed. Chloride was a major factor in corrosion of reinforced concrete.
In this incident, the chloride was either already present in the concrete or came from the pool. Because of the humid environment present in indoor pools, the steel rods providing the support for the walls, and lacking natural oxide film on their surface of the steel due to the chloride, readily released iron atoms into the moist air.
According to corrosion-doctors. org, a corrosion information website, chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking in the special environment created by indoor pools can be prevented by: 1. Careful consideration of the potential for SCC during the design and fabrication of the swimming pool building and components; 2. Careful selection of appropriate stainless-steel grades — some are more suitable for safety critical use; 3. Carefully maintaining the chemical balance of the pool water by regular monitoring and dosing; 4. Ensuring that the bather load of the pool is not exceeded and that the potential for organic contamination is minimized by the provision of good pre-shower facilities, toilets, and instructions to bathers; 5. Maintaining air quality by the correct operation of ventilation and heating plants; 6. Regular inspection by a competent third party of safetycritical components for signs of corrosion and SCC.
At press time, it is unknown if chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking played a role in the July 3 collapse.
Hampton Inn York Nebraska collapsed July 3, 2022.