ROTTERDAM - In the center of Rotterdam, part of the IMAX theater has collapsed during demolition work. Concrete blocks have ended up on the street and on parked cars. The damage to some vehicles is extensive, but no one was hurt.

The former cinema has not been in use for years and is being demolished to make way for a hotel. Slightly before the evening rush hour, chunks of up to half a meter came down.

Motorists who were just driving over the Schiedamsedijk, were pelted by debris and dust.

“It was a pretty deafening sound from all kinds of debris falling on my car. And then I saw a kind of snow storm of debris. I heard all kinds of banging and saw stones on my windshield. This is not going well, I thought then. ”

(duped, Radio Rijnmond, 13 januari 2011)

But the woman immediately had to admit that it could all be a lot worse. Cars on the other side of the road, even further away from the building, were much harder hit, because several large blocks had landed on the roof.

“I really had an angel on my shoulder. This could have ended really badly. I was really lucky. ”

(duped, Radio Rijnmond, 13 januari 2011)

House of cards

Demolition work at the property had been going on for a few weeks. Things went wrong after the demolition workers wanted to take a few bites from the fourth or fifth floor. Stones started to move and fell towards the road.

Some of the chunks ended up on some sea containers, that pedestrians can walk through.

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“During the demolition work of the building, a prefab element came loose”, Cees de Groot of the demolition company announced on Radio Rijnmond. "A steel staircase hung from it and it came down during the demolition work."

According to De Groot, "it is a miracle" that most of the chunks have ended up on the sea containers. "We put it there a few weeks ago because we didn't trust it already", says De Groot.

“The building is a prefab construction and is constructed like a kind of house of cards. We were not entirely sure that things would go well during the demolition and therefore put the containers there. I am glad we took that measure. ”

(Cees de Groot, Radio Rijnmond, 13 januari 2011)

Hoe ging het verder?

It was done with that? No definitely not! If the demolition workers want to continue the next day, things go wrong again.

Because the wind has started, the situation becomes even more dangerous. Several pieces of debris also fall down again. Demolition is halted.

Alderman Karakus of Rotterdam has quite a bit of criticism of the demolition workers. According to him, it was not the demolitioners' own initiative to set up the sea containers. The municipality had halted the demolition a month before the collapse, because the containers were not there yet. Only when the containers were placed, should demolition resume.

If things go wrong for the second day in a row, The municipality of Rotterdam and the other emergency services involved will consult on the further course of the demolition. There is even talk of a "controlled collapse".

Contractor Heddes goes bankrupt shortly after the collapse. That company is making a restart, but does not want to continue with the hired demolition company. That is why the demolition company has the IMAX site seized. All locks are replaced.

De judge forces the wrecker to release the terrain again. The demolition company is also blamed for the problems. According to the court, the company had not looked closely at the construction drawings. The RET also receives compensation of € 60.000 euros due to extra costs. The company had to detour for a few days.

Pas in June 2011 the demolition of the theater is resumed.


Radio Rijnmond - 13 en 14 januari 2011

RTV Rijnmond – 7 juni 2011 – Demolition of IMAX theater resumes on Tuesday

RTV Rijnmond – 23 juli 2014 – Demolition company Imax theater must indemnify RET