Incidents » Disasters, catastrophes

Collapse of biggest aqua-park in Europe: careless executing one’s professional duties

The tragedy in Transvaal aqua-park aroused many questions: what caused the accident?
The first idea that came into mind after the reports of the accident, was – it is one more act of terrorism (providing that a week ago there was a blast in Moscow Metro). However, the authorities were quick to respond that this was not an act of terrorism. The Office of Public Prosecutor started criminal investigation on the grounds of murder because of careless executing one’s professional duties (article 109 of Part 2 in the Criminal Code – imposed sentence is up to five years of imprisonment).

The investigation has just started and has no final explanation of the causes of the tragedy. However, there are several versions.

Version 1. Flows during the construction. Kiselev & Partners company designed the aqua-park in Yasenevo neighborhood. This company is well-known – it designed the residence of President Putin in the Kremlin. In 2002 in Moscow Transvaal-Park was recognized “the best project of the year in the sphere of investments and construction”. After the aqua-park started working, it was emphasized that the park had been constructed “with the use of the advanced technologies” and “in a recordly quick period of time”. This was posed as an advantage. Today Russian media quote the statement of expert on architecture Viktor Ovsyannikov, “During the aqua-park construction, the rules and regulations were ruthlessly violated. In Russia the most important thing – to construct and sell as soon as possible, nobody cares what happens next”. Today the whole country knows well how the “record quick period” resulted for the aqua-park visitors.

Meanwhile, Transvaal-Park employees say that there were many cracks in its load-carrying structures. There is the second version of the tragedy – wrong object operation. According to NTV Channel, three months after the aqua-park was sold, its new owners received a recommendation to lower the expenses for operating the building to start making profit from the expensive entertainment complex.

Turkish Kochak Inshaat Limited company was the main contractor for the project. The company’s representative said, “We have never experienced similar situations, we are shocked”. Currently Russian Chief Construction Administration postponed the licenses of both the designer (Kiselev & Partners) and Chief Constructor (Kochak Inshaat Limited).

According to the Gazeta newspaper, there could be more than two causes of the tragedy:

1) Design miscalculations (the dome configuration could be miscalculated).
2) Mistakes in mounting.
3) Factory defects while producing load-carrying structures.
4) Low quality of construction materials.
5) Unstable dome.
6) Wrong operating the object.
7) Crack in the dome because of the difference in temperature.
8) Soaking condensate by the concrete roof because of the malfunctioning air-conditioning.
9) Snow accumulation on the roof.
10) Lack of control when accepting the object for exploitation.

The version that the roof collapsed because of much snow on it is the least likely because the aqua-park employees say they clear snow away from the dome every day.

One fact is remarkable: to construct a building in Moscow, one has to have dozens of signatures of officials of all levels (the Gazeta mentioned the number of signatures as 120). However, this still does not guarantee the quality of construction.

There is no information what will happen to Transvaal aqua-park. There was a belief after the accident that the park will be restored, but when and how, nobody knows.

Source: Russian media,