Collapsing art injures five at the Hyatt as the Canberra Times attacks

By 11 March, 2012 32

art show

The ACT Ambulance Service is currently on scene at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, on Commonwealth Avenue, where an art display has collapsed.

Five people were injured in the collapse and were treated on scene by ACT Ambulance Service Intensive Care Paramedics. Four patients are currently being transferred to The Canberra Hospital for further assessment.

12:14pm Sunday 14 March 2012

[Courtesy ESA]

UPDATE 11/03/12 13:22: The Canberra Times is now reporting that they are in fact responsible for the injuries.

Four people have been taken to hospital after temporary walls displaying art works collapsed at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra, earlier today.

ACT paramedics treated seven people at the scene of The Canberra Times Art Show.
It is believed someone leaned on the temporary wall, knocking it over and triggering a domino effect.

One person has a suspected fractured arm, while two others will be assessed at hospital for possible neck injuries.

How long will the scourge of newspapers be allowed to wreak such carnage on our fair city?

UPDATE 11/03/12 22:45 Dacquiri has sent in pictures and video of the aftermath taken with an ancient Nokia:

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32 Responses to Collapsing art injures five at the Hyatt as the Canberra Times attacks
#1
threepaws1:20 pm, 11 Mar 12
#2
poetix1:36 pm, 11 Mar 12

They were framed.

#3
AsparagusSyndrome2:16 pm, 11 Mar 12

I guess that’s one way of ‘making the news’.

At least now I understand why these events have signs like “Please don’t touch the paintings”. I used to think that was just because they didn’t want people damaging or stealing the artworks.

I’m just wondering if tomorrow’s “Beautifully Balanced Boulders” festival event will go ahead now on Corin Dam Road.

#4
Battlecat2:38 pm, 11 Mar 12

We went along to see this this afternoon, not knowing what had happened. We found the doors all closed and some poor kid at the welcome table meekly telling people that the show was closed. They had obviously sent the poor young guy out to deal with the arriving visitors and he really didn’t know what to say, so he just said “something happened and the show is closed.”
Perhaps the other workers/volunteers were dealing with more important things, but I felt sorry for the poor guy who had obviously been told not to tell what had actually happened and he was really uncomfortable..

#5
Dacquiri3:19 pm, 11 Mar 12

I was there when it happened. Pretty scary — we were lucky to have been towards the end, rather than in the middle, at the time and were able to get out quickly. We saw many fairly elderly people who did receive injuries, and most people seemed in a state of shock at what was a very surreal event. There are a number of obvious issues that no doubt will be looked at, including: whether the type of panels & their footings were simply insufficient to accomodate the weight of the artwork; whether the panel sections should have been smaller (would have probably minimised the diaster); whether the rows were too close together (they were — you couldn’t stand back to view the artwork); and whether some imbalance of the panels could have been due to artwork being removed as soon as it was purchased (a really bad decision, which turned the ‘art show’ into a mere ‘art sale’ and should have been advertised as such).

#6
TheDancingDjinn3:43 pm, 11 Mar 12

The ninemsn site has it described that the people there were mostly elderly, and that someone had leant against a wall which caused a domino effect. Why if it was to have a heap of elderly there, wouldn’t someone put chairs for people to sit rather to lean on temporary walls that are not designed to have weight against them like a regular wall so to speak.

#7
SnapperJack3:51 pm, 11 Mar 12

So the walls at The Canberra Times Art Show are collapsing. A bit of a metaphor for the paper itself, eh?

#8
simonleeds3:59 pm, 11 Mar 12

Battlecat said :

I felt sorry for the poor guy who had obviously been told not to tell what had actually happened and he was really uncomfortable..

I work there and I’m virtually certain the guy would have known, everyone knew. The thing is that staff have been ingrained, from the experience of multiple foreign delegation visits, to be incredibly secretive about everything (even if it’s blindingly obvious and people in the lobby are talking about it) to the point of farce.

TheDancingDjinn said :

Why if it was to have a heap of elderly there, wouldn’t someone put chairs for people to sit rather to lean on temporary walls that are not designed to have weight against them like a regular wall so to speak.

There were chairs around the room and also mulitple couches just outside the room. But I guess if we had put a chair at the exact point where the person leaned against the wall than none of this would have happened, right?

#9
gospeedygo4:08 pm, 11 Mar 12

Dacquiri said :

There are a number of obvious issues that no doubt will be looked at, including: whether the type of panels & their footings were simply insufficient to accomodate the weight of the artwork

From the picture in the CT, it looks as though there were no feet.

#10
PantsMan4:39 pm, 11 Mar 12

Andrew Bolt (I know, the lynch mob of left-wingers ready to drive me out of Canberra is forming as I speak), has this take on it:

PantsMan said :

[b]The one-stop-shop art show for disabilities[/b]
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, March 11, 12 (03:33 pm)

It’s kind of the Canberra Art show to provide this worthy cause not only with money …

The Canberra Times Art Show raises money for Koomarri, which supports people with disabilities…

… but with fresh customers, too:

Four people have been taken to hospital after temporary walls displaying art works collapsed at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra, earlier today… One person has a suspected fractured arm, while two others will be assessed at hospital for possible neck injuries.

#11
shauno4:59 pm, 11 Mar 12

That Hyatt needs a massive upgrade ive stayed there a lot and I mean a huge amount of time. Its not on the same level of class as a lot of overseas 5 star hotels. Not blaming the long time staff in anyway.

#12
Brucer5:44 pm, 11 Mar 12

The walls would have been hired by CT for the event and setup by the supplier. They look to be the same type (probably even the same ones) I’ve seen used at other temporary art displays, e.g the Royal Canberra Show. I saw how it was built yesterday..stabilised at the ends and linked at the top for stability, which unfortunately also meant that they all fell together. Obviously they needed better bracing. This is sad for the charity that now won’t receive as much funding from the event, if anything at all. Worse still if CT decide such public events are just not worth the risk. I don’t suppose RA would step up? Somehow I doubt it.

#13
Dacquiri5:52 pm, 11 Mar 12

I’ve got photos and video clips on my phone taken just after it happened, but can’t upload them anywhere unless someone’s got a cable for a Nokia 6131.

#14
PantsMan5:55 pm, 11 Mar 12

PantsMan said :

Andrew Bolt (I know, the lynch mob of left-wingers ready to drive me out of Canberra is forming as I speak), has this take on it:

PantsMan said :

[b]The one-stop-shop art show for disabilities[/b]
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, March 11, 12 (03:33 pm)

It’s kind of the Canberra Art show to provide this worthy cause not only with money …

The Canberra Times Art Show raises money for Koomarri, which supports people with disabilities…

… but with fresh customers, too:

Four people have been taken to hospital after temporary walls displaying art works collapsed at the Hyatt Hotel, Canberra, earlier today… One person has a suspected fractured arm, while two others will be assessed at hospital for possible neck injuries.

Now he’s removed it! Not in great taste me thinks.

#15
johnboy5:55 pm, 11 Mar 12

can you email to john@the-riotact.com ?

#16
johnboy6:11 pm, 11 Mar 12

Brucer said :

The walls would have been hired by CT for the event and setup by the supplier. They look to be the same type (probably even the same ones) I’ve seen used at other temporary art displays, e.g the Royal Canberra Show. I saw how it was built yesterday..stabilised at the ends and linked at the top for stability, which unfortunately also meant that they all fell together. Obviously they needed better bracing. This is sad for the charity that now won’t receive as much funding from the event, if anything at all. Worse still if CT decide such public events are just not worth the risk. I don’t suppose RA would step up? Somehow I doubt it.

Well brucer if we got even a tiny fraction of the Government ad money the CT gets you’d be amazed what we could do for Charity.

#17
Goddess6:28 pm, 11 Mar 12

How can today be the 11th and 14th March?

#18
TheDancingDjinn7:09 pm, 11 Mar 12

simonleeds said :

Battlecat said :

I felt sorry for the poor guy who had obviously been told not to tell what had actually happened and he was really uncomfortable..

I work there and I’m virtually certain the guy would have known, everyone knew. The thing is that staff have been ingrained, from the experience of multiple foreign delegation visits, to be incredibly secretive about everything (even if it’s blindingly obvious and people in the lobby are talking about it) to the point of farce.

TheDancingDjinn said :

Why if it was to have a heap of elderly there, wouldn’t someone put chairs for people to sit rather to lean on temporary walls that are not designed to have weight against them like a regular wall so to speak.

There were chairs around the room and also mulitple couches just outside the room. But I guess if we had put a chair at the exact point where the person leaned against the wall than none of this would have happened, right?

Obviously not enough – as a person who has worked with the elderly, and cared for many elderly family – the couches outside the room? seriously? old people find it difficult to stand in one spot for long periods, they get tired, how would they have walked out to your couches? were the couches taken up by wine drinkers who had too much “art” and had to rest themselves? (Personally i would have told them to move had i seen a elderly person needing a seat). Did staff realise there were many elderly going there? was it a day trip from a local nursing home?, or retirement village? if people knew the elderly were going to be there then yes they should have put more chairs.
But as it were, the walls fell down, maybe because whoever was in charge of their installation didn’t do their job properly.

#19
firebrand7:24 pm, 11 Mar 12

the CT can look forward to a whole lot of lawsuits to be thrown in their direction

#20
cross7:34 pm, 11 Mar 12

“How long will the scourge of newspapers be allowed to wreak such carnage on our fair city?”
Your kidding right ?

#21
Diggety7:36 pm, 11 Mar 12

Dacquiri said :

I’ve got photos and video clips on my phone taken just after it happened, but can’t upload them anywhere unless someone’s got a cable for a Nokia 6131.

Bluetooth?

#22
Diggety7:38 pm, 11 Mar 12

threepaws said :

With photo here http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/four-hurt-in-art-show-mishap-20120311-1us65.html

Hahaha, awesome.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t domino those boards? Just asking for it really. Glad everyone is ok though.

#23
Brucer8:24 pm, 11 Mar 12

TheDancingDjinn said :

[
Obviously not enough – as a person who has worked with the elderly, and cared for many elderly family – the couches outside the room? seriously? old people find it difficult to stand in one spot for long periods, they get tired, how would they have walked out to your couches? were the couches taken up by wine drinkers who had too much “art” and had to rest themselves? (Personally i would have told them to move had i seen a elderly person needing a seat). Did staff realise there were many elderly going there? was it a day trip from a local nursing home?, or retirement village? if people knew the elderly were going to be there then yes they should have put more chairs.
But as it were, the walls fell down, maybe because whoever was in charge of their installation didn’t do their job properly.

This was an annual festival event open to the general public, not targeted to the elderly. Obviously there were some elderly present and as such would be more traumatised by the accident as reflected in the reporting, but to suggest that it all could have been avoided merely by putting some chairs in the room.. you’re kidding aren’t you?
It’s pretty clear the fault lies with the installer of the display partitions. Be it a marquee or whatever, when you hire this stuff you expect the team that arrive to assemble it know what they’re doing. You certainly don’t expect it to fall down, injure your patrons, destroy your event and make the evening news! I’d be surprised if CT do the art show again, which would be a real shame as I’ve always enjoyed it.

#24
Jethro10:13 pm, 11 Mar 12

poetix said :

They were framed.

You need to get out more.

#25
poetix10:47 pm, 11 Mar 12

Jethro said :

poetix said :

They were framed.

You need to get out more.

I would but I hear that it can give you an art attack…

#26
dungfungus11:17 am, 12 Mar 12

firebrand said :

the CT can look forward to a whole lot of lawsuits to be thrown in their direction

I recommend Saul Goodman & Associates http://www.bettercallsaul.com/

#27
Gungahlin Al12:49 pm, 12 Mar 12

The Canberra Times’ own article on the incident quotes General Manager of the Canberra Times Ken Nichols as saying his thoughts were with those who had been injured but the quote used is:

”What has happened is unfortunate and disappointing, and we regret the inconvenience and disruption to visitors, artists and the charity the event was supporting.”

So that’s his take-home message from this??

#28
chris8201:08 pm, 12 Mar 12

The aftermath looks quite postmodernistic.

#29
PantsMan4:54 pm, 12 Mar 12

chris820 said :

The aftermath looks quite postmodernistic.

Maybe it’s performance art?

#30
Dacquiri11:00 pm, 12 Mar 12

Canberra Times have now updated their story and are reporting 7 injured. (This doesn’t include my son, and perhaps others, who decided that they didn’t need medical treatment for their injuries.) It’s interesting that the call for ambulances was allegedly made at about 11.45am, given that the collapse actually occured at 11.19am (our mobile phone photos & videos were taken within a minute or two of the collapse, at 11.20am & 11.21am).

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