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Police have cordoned off the stadium to keep out trespassers  and to prevent any untoward incidents.
Police have cordoned off the stadium to keep out trespassers and to prevent any untoward incidents.

KUALA TERENGGANU (NST): An eleventh-hour decision to use a space frame design for the roof of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium could have led to its collapse on Tuesday morning.

A source familiar with the RM292 million project said the space frame roof that came crashing down was never part of the stadium’s original design.

A decision was made at the last minute to cover the grandstand area with a space frame roofing to add a “curvy, grandeur and sophisticated” look to it.

The source said this, coupled with a looming deadline for the opening of the Malaysia Games, was a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.

“It was done in a hurry and everyone in the engineering field knows that a space frame design is not an easy thing to build. Besides the difficulty involved, it is also a more expensive option,” the source said.
According to civil engineering terms, a space frame is constructed from interlocking struts in a geometrical pattern using steel tubes.

It draws its strength from the triangular frames that make up the truss-like rigid structure.

It is lightweight, capable of spanning large distances with few supports and can create curves to increase the visual impact.

State Public Works director Rosly Zainal said it was premature to pin the blame on the choice of structural design, although he did admit that the technology involved required careful planning and expertise.

Rosly said all this would be looked into very carefully when investigations on the incident began.

He said debris from the collapse would not be cleared until the investigations were completed adding that insurers and adjusters would also be doing their own investigations.

Rosly, however, denied that the contractors were pressured into rushing its completion for the games.

“It was on schedule, otherwise we wouldn’t have issued a temporary certificate of fitness,” he added.

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