Parking garage canopy at IND partially collapses

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The weight of the heavy snow proved to be too much for the massive canopy at the Indianapolis International airport parking garage.

One of the nine sections ripped around 9 a.m.

Nobody was injured but this is the second time the canopy has collapsed.

Chopper 8 flew over the scene. To see an aerial image click here.

PHOTOS | IND canopy collapses

The giant hole and hanging fabric had people gawking and talking.

“That’s crazy. Especially in a newer facility. My first thought was safety.
No one injured or no property damage. Anything like that,” said Scott Deig who was returning to Indianapolis after a trip to Florida.

Airport firefighters were called in to secure the area. With the potential for another section to rip, they taped off areas to keep travelers safe. Up on top, a crew was brought in to lighten the snow load on the canopy.

“The way it was designed is the snow would not build up to this extent,” said airport Executive Director Bob Duncan.

A similar collapse happened in February of 2011. Three sections ripped. The snow on top fell and damaged eight rental cars parked below.

Airport officials say at that time, the canopy fabric was attached to every third support or truss. To avoid a future collapse, engineers decided to change the tension of the fabric and attach the canopy to each truss.

Three years later, those improvements weren’t enough.

“I’m a little upset it happened again. I’m a lot of upset. In any event, we have to deal with it and we will move forward,” Duncan said.

Moving forward means considering options like adjusting the angle of the canopy, adding heaters or replacing the fabric with a hardened canopy.

“It’s shocking it happened again for the second time.
I just thought they were reinforce it better” said Sandy Deig of Fishers.

In 2011, it cost $650,000 to fix the canopy. Insurance picked up the cost.

This time the structure is under warranty. However, the airport may incur additional costs if the structure needs redesigning and modifications.

The parking garage was still open on Tuesday.

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