Airport garage still open after fabric roof collapse

February 7, 2011

The parking garage at Indianapolis International Airport remains open despite the collapse Saturday evening of a fabric canopy on the roof.

The collapse is being blamed on ice and snow that accumulated on the canopy, sending chunks crashing into the garage’s atrium. It landed on and damaged six rental cars, parked on the first floor of the garage. No one was injured.

Moving walkways and escalators in the atrium also were damaged and have been turned off, although passengers can still use elevators or stairs.

The fabric, made of Teflon, similar to that used on the former RCA Dome, is also used to cover a plaza containing parking cashier booths. Airport firefighters used water to blast ice and snow from those canopies to prevent potential collapse.  

Airport officials as of Monday morning had no estimates of damage. It’s unclear whether the fabric or a design defect, or both, were a factor. The metal supports over which the fabric is draped did not appear to be damaged.

The fabric was made by Amherst, N.Y.-based Birdair, which also made the material that covers parts of Denver International Airport and Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

A technical rep from the company is flying to Indianapolis Monday, said airport spokeswoman Susan Sullivan.



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