Libeskind pool ceiling collapses in Bern

Andrea Klettner

After the roof collapse at the Daniel Libeskind designed swimming pool in Bern

Source: Berner Zeitung

The ceiling of a retail and leisure centre designed by Daniel Libeskind has collapsed for the second time in three years in the Swiss capital of Bern.

Two people were injured and one was treated for shock following the accident, which happened  on April 12  in the swimming pool area of the city’s Westside centre.

The pool was in use when 100sq m of the suspended gypsum board ceiling and insulation fell 10m onto the floor.

Visitor Devad Hrapic, who was at the pool with his daughters Leila, 7, and Inesa, 11, told local newspaper 20 Minuten: “All of a sudden I heard a loud bang. I immediately ran down the steps and looked for my daughter Leila. She was standing a metre away from the debris and was crying loudly. In the debris I heard a man screaming.”

Hrapic and another visitor searched for the trapped man. “We tore apart the remains of the ceiling and helped the man out. His whole body was bleeding, especially his head.”

He added that it was a “miracle” that the incident did not have worse consequences.

Swiss authorities are currently investigating the incident and for the time being the swimming pool remains closed.

Westside chief executive Anton Gaumann said: “The construction was carried out to regulation.”

He added that he had spoken to Libeskind, who said he would wait until the outcome of the investigation to comment.

The £340 million Westside centre was completed in autumn 2008 after a three-year construction period. As well as a swimming pool, sauna and spa it contains a cinema, shopping area, hotel and food court.

Shortly after the opening in 2008, the ceiling of a fast food outlet collapsed, injuring two children.

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