Wind uproots Beijing`s airport terminal roof

Incidents of strong winds damaging the terminal roof twice within the space of a year have made people skeptical about its quality.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 12:32 PM IST

Beijing: Strong winds damaged the roof of
third terminal building at the much admired Beijing Capital
International Airport for the second time in a year, rising
doubts about the resilience and the quality of construction of
the land mark structure.

The roof gave in as heavy wind lashed the building
on Tuesday night and parts of it landed on runway, official
media here reported on Thursday.

The incident raises doubts on the landmark building`s
resilience, state-run China Daily said in a report.

Passengers at the airport`s third terminal said that
they saw white and yellow foam composites flying outside the
building windows.

"Though I stood pretty far away, I could see a part
of the roof was torn open. The white foam composite was
everywhere, even on the runway," a passenger surnamed Li said.

Designed by British architect Norman Foster (known
for working on projects such as the Millennium Bridge in
London) and Beijing Architectural Design and Research
Institute, T3 was opened in 2008 - the biggest standalone
terminal building in the world then.

The airport officials said the strong wind, moving
at a speed of 24 meters a second, lifted some of the metal
plates on the roof of the terminal`s D section.

But the damage has not interfered with flight
schedules by Wednesday noon and it was quickly repaired by
workers, the airport said its official micro blog at Weibo.
com, the Chinese version of Twitter.

This is the second such incident in one year.
Last December about 200 square meters of the roof was
damaged, compared to its total area of 320,000 square meters.

The unexpected roof damage, as well as big snowfalls
in other cities that day, caused widespread disruption for
flights.

Incidents of strong winds damaging the terminal
roof twice within the space of a year have made people
skeptical about its quality, the Daily report said.

"How could Hong Kong`s Chek Lap Kok Airport, also
designed by Norman Foster, withstand typhoons so well
throughout the past decade?" asked a netizen from Shenzhen at
Weibo.com.

Shao Weiping, executive chief architect of Beijing
Architectural Design and Research Institute, who had a role in
designing T3, believed that the torn roof was not caused by
design flaws.

PTI