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Montreal Gazette - Cave-in's cause still unknown; Officials say work on Saputo Stadium still slated to be completed by June 16

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Published: 6 Mar 2012

As officials scrambled to reassure the public Monday that the Olympic Park is safe, engineering experts wondered how construction crews could not have known their work on top of a cavernous underground parking garage might collapse it.

As officials scrambled to reassure the public Monday that the Olympic Park is safe, engineering experts wondered how construction crews could not have known their work on top of a cavernous underground parking garage might collapse it.

Normand Tétreault, an engineer and president of Soconex, which specializes in concrete structures, said workers depositing earth over a structure like a parking garage would normally have checked the load-bearing capacity of the garage's beams first.

"It would be unbelievable if they didn't realize they were over the underground garage," Tétreault said. "It seems that they may have overloaded the (garage's) support beams." Saeed Mirza, a professor emeritus of engineering at McGill University, said "they probably forgot to check it. It's an error in the planning of the project."

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