Oklahoma City Aftermath

by John Prendergast, Managing Editior; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 10, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The explosion that ripped through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City shortly after nine a.m. on April 19 killed 168 people, injured more than 500 and damaged more than 300 buildings. Also among the casualties of the blast was a lingering American faith that terrorism was something that happened somewhere else--in other countries, or at high-profile structures like the World Trade Center in New York. How should the U.S. government respond to this changed world when it comes to constructing new buildings or securing existing ones. Factors to be balanced in the eventual decision include costs, aesthetics and the principle of maintaining maximum public access in a democracy. A key issue is whether or not to require that government buildings be designed to protect against progressive collapse.

Subject Headings: Building design | Explosions | Oklahoma | Progressive collapse | Structural design | Structural failures |

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