28 March 2012
Retaining wall failure in Austria and large-scale wash-outs in New Zealand
Posted by Dave Petley
Two recent interesting landslide related news stories to highlight:
A fatal retaining wall failure in Austria
First, thanks to David Bressan via Twitter, for highlighting this one. Last Tuesday a remarkable retaining wall failure occurred on the A13 Autobahn (motorway) at Schönberg. A landslide, apparently triggered by snowmelt, overturned a large retaining wall, which fell onto the carriageway. Unfortunately it fell onto a truck, killing the driver:
Details (in German) and more images can be found here. This is a really unusual event. Failures of heavily engineered structures on roads with very high design standards are not common. I would be interested to hear more details about the causes of this tragic event.
Wash-outs on the Napier to Gisborne rail line
Meanwhile, reader Errolwi highlighted an interesting article about wash-outs on the railway line between Napier and Gisborne in New Zealand, which also occurred last week during heavy rainfall. There were three such events in a three kilometre stretch:
The article suggests that the line has two to three rail services per week, which suggests that it may well by uneconomic to repair.
[…] has been a number of landslide events in the last few days, one of which I have already reported, but here are two […]