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Engineers investigate Norway building collapse

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ENGINEERS FROM Norway's Building Research Institute were this week investigating the sudden collapse of a community hall in Bardufoss in the north of the country.

Three people were killed and 23 injured in the accident on Saturday night.

The hall was being used by a multi-nation military exercise: 'Joint Winter'. Local police said the roof cracked very quickly in the middle. The three dead and most of the injured were Norwegian soldiers.

Trand Ramstad, an engineer at the building institute, told NCE that the structure was steel and timber, dating from 1958.

'It was 6m high and had a 12m free span across, supported by steel girders,' he said. Despite reports of exceptionally heavy snow this winter, the apparent snow load at the time was thought unlikely to have exceeded design loads.

'But it is hard to be certain as wreckage was moved aside to allow the rescue,' he added.

'There are also reports that the army had put up some antennae. They do not seem to weigh more than about 70kg so should not have altered the load much.'

The team is examining materials for signs of corrosion.

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