Bad design according to the authority “on purpose”

NAfter the fatal accident with a concrete slab from a noise protection wall on the A3 near Cologne, Straßen.NRW assumes a “defect caused on purpose”. During the assembly in 2007, the plate was not properly attached due to lack of space, announced the state company after initial investigations on Tuesday.

According to dpa information, the experts do not assume criminal intent, but conscious improvisation. Since something apparently did not fit during installation, it was made to fit on purpose, regardless of structural requirements, according to initial findings.

The concrete slab had come loose on Friday and crashed into the car of a 66-year-old woman from Cologne who died at the scene of the accident. According to the information provided by the state company, the panel was not properly anchored during assembly in 2007. Accordingly, a welded-on screw was not suitable for absorbing the tensile forces of the four to five-ton part made of reinforced concrete.

The construction carried out by a contracted company does not correspond to the previous plans, according to the road construction authority. The same construction was installed on six other noise protection panels, which will now be removed as quickly as possible. Until then, the two outer lanes should remain closed. Straßen.NRW also pointed out that the lack of construction could not be noticed during controls due to its hidden location.

It can not be assumed that there is acute danger with similar structures, it said on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the authority is checking whether there are other noise barriers with similar constructions in North Rhine-Westphalia. The public prosecutor’s office has initiated proceedings for negligent homicide – initially against unknown persons.


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