We bibliophiles (and often our spouses as well) have nightmares about what could happen if our holdings get out of control. Sometimes that nightmare comes true. Len Augsburger writes:
Word is that an archive in Cologne has collapsed - and here you thought that archival research was supposed to be "safe".
Hundreds of rescue workers continued to search the ruins of the collapsed building in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday for the three people who may be trapped beneath the rubble.
The building, which housed the city's historical archive, collapsed, damaging two other buildings -- possibly because of nearby construction underground, CNN's Ben Brumfield reported from the scene.
The building itself was an unremarkable 20th century structure, but the archives it contained were very valuable, said Brumfield, who has done research there.
"Some of the earth underneath the building that collapsed slid into the construction space, which caused a hole under the building," he explained. "The building fell literally into that hole and fell forward into the street.
The building did not collapse quickly, said Carlo Schlender, a reporter for German TV station RTL, a CNN affiliate. That gave people the chance to flee.
There were "a lot of noises before (the collapse). Most of the people could hear that something was wrong and escaped from the scene," he told CNN International's "iDesk" program.
The fire department confirmed that everyone in the archive managed to escape before the collapse of the building, but thought some people working and living in buildings next door were not able to escape.
The city is building a new subway line under the buildings that collapsed, Susanne Motter at the Cologne tourism bureau told CNN. It is not clear if the underground construction played a role in the incident.
The main building which collapsed is the Historic Archive of the city of Cologne, which houses documents up to 1,000 years old.
To read the complete article, see: Collapsed building traps 3 in Germany (www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/03/03/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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