Sampoong Department Store collapse

The Sampoong department store in Seoul, South Korea, collapsed in 1995. It killed more than 500 people. The tragedy was caused due to a series of errors made by the builders who built the store and the failure of the store's owner.

Lee Joon built the Sampoong department in 1989. It was designed to have five floors but Joon wanted an extra floor with a swimming pool to be added. Several workers working on the project warned Joon that this was dangerous but, he didn't listen to them , so he fired them. The official planning department was not told about the change and the government safety inspectors were bribed about bot to tell anyone. Also Joon's contractors were not using enough steel rods for support and were using a bad grade of concrete to save money. Twelve workers were later guilty of accepting bribes.

The store was very successful in 1995, with about 40,000 customers coming to the store every day. Joon refused to close down the store in June 27 due to a gas leak. The fifth-floor later showed signs of collapsing.

There were about hundreds of people were eating at the food area of the store's low level when the whole ceiling collapsed on them. The fifth-floor ceiling collapsed and caused all the floors underneath it to collapsed as well. This caused fire to break out through the whole store. Some were started due to the gasoline in the garage. It took several days before the fire was put out.

It took weeks to rescue the people. There was one survivor who was rescued after 16 days the building collapsed. Not a lot of people survived unfortunately. More than 500 people died and 900 suffered from injuries. Lee Joon was charged of criminal failure for the building and was sentenced for seven-and-a-half-years in prison.  

The store collapsed due to mistaken management and bad construction.

Cost of Damage: 216 million dollars

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