Falling snow from Tokyo Skytree crashes through roof of home

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  • 4

    Kyoko Sakata

    Wonder if they (SkyTree co) will compensate the home owner for the damage. I think if I were in that situation I'd move. No need for icicles to come crashing down, too.

  • 2

    Cortes Elijah

    I agree. I hope they pay for the damages and send a letter to say sorry.

  • 3

    Speed

    Guaranteed that they'll pay for damages and apologize. The question is, is this going to keep happening over and over? How are they going to reduce the risk of serious injury or death to nearby residents?

  • 2

    papigiulio

    This was an accident waiting to happen. Didnt they have like heated windows or spraying warm water to keep the snow from piling up and falling down? They are lucky it didnt end up on someones head.

  • 2

    LiveInTokyo

    Guaranteed that they'll pay for damages and apologize. The question is, is this going to keep happening over and over? How are they going to reduce the risk of serious injury or death to nearby residents?

    Thats the question. A few centimeters or meters left or right, and there would be the potential for that snow to have come down on someones head. From what I have heard this has been an ongoing problem and they really need to get it fixed asap or someone might get seriously hurt.

  • -4

    tmarie

    This should never have been built where it was. They've known since the beginning that snow and ice were going to be an issue. I'd be demanding money if my house was in the area as obviously they haven't done enough with regards to safety. God help that place when the next big one hits and that goes down.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    There is realistically no way to stop this from happening and skytree will just have to continue paying out for damages. Let's just hope no one gets injured or worse.

    They built the thing in a residental area, they tried to plan for and design it to prevent this from happening, but like many things that look good on paper, the reality is quite different. It's not like an airplane they can ground until the flaws are fixed, so they will have to keep paying and crossing their fingers that no one gets hurt.

  • 4

    taj

    I wonder how the CN Tower in Toronto avoids problems of falling snow/ice. There MUST be a realistic way to avoid this.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    It was only a matter of time, and it's only a matter of time until someone gets killed. Obviously they didn't think about this very clearly when designing the thing. They sure as hell better be paying the home owners for the damage.

  • -3

    tmarie

    well that's just it Yubaru, it shouldn't have been built there. The community was against it due to safety issues. Of course, no one listened to them.

  • 3

    Sensato

    Tokyo Skytree deployed about 60 security guards on the ground near the steel tower to warn passersby about the possibility of falling ice.

    The "falling ice danger announcer/security guard" position might be a good job to add to JT's list of "7 services that don't make sense to foreigners" (or anybody for that matter) -- plus, it sounds like a hazardous way to make a living.

    Warning or not from one of these falling-ice alert security guards, unless a pedestrian is constantly looking skyward as they walk there is probably not much likelihood they would dodge a falling projectile headed their way. Unfortunately, it seems just a matter of time before this results in injury or death.

  • 1

    DudeDeuce

    I wonder if the Sky Tree has raised property value around it. If so, time to sell now and buy a larger house elsewhere. If this keeps happening, they might lose out.

  • 2

    gyroman

    I wonder how the CN Tower in Toronto avoids problems of falling snow/ice

    This is what their spokesperson says : "The monument is equipped with heating cable systems and heating installations on all horizontal surfaces to help melt ice quickly. Propylene glycol is sprayed on vertical surfaces to melt and prevent ice formations on an ongoing basis."

    Any idea if any of this is done at the Sky Tree?

  • 2

    Yubaru

    well that's just it Yubaru, it shouldn't have been built there. The community was against it due to safety issues. Of course, no one listened to them.

    I agree, but then when in Japan do companies or the government listen to the people when a decision has been made?

  • 3

    Yubaru

    wonder how the CN Tower in Toronto avoids problems of falling snow/ice. There MUST be a realistic way to avoid this.

    They have the same problems and if you google it you'll see it for yourself.

    http://www.cp24.com/chunks-of-ice-falling-from-cn-tower-1.776135

  • 4

    Hunter Brumfield

    We live in the shadow of the tower and while I do expect them to do something to solve the problem of falling ice, contrary to tmarie's comment ("The community was against it due to safety issues. Of course, no one listened to them.") there was no real opposition or concern. Every one of my neighbors, and my wife and I, are very happy to have it here.

    You may have read some negative articles, but believe me they were by journalists trying to find problems -- and you'll always find someone ready to criticize ANYTHING.

    We saw that as well with the "mounds of garbage" stories, which I pointedly searched for with absolutely no success. It's actually much cleaner now because of the efforts of the community, including the staff of Sky Tree. We've lived here 25 years and it is absolutely better in Oshiage than it's ever been.

    That said, they do need to address this problem and I am confident they will.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Somebody will get killed by this and will anybody be held accountable? Unlikely!

  • -5

    tmarie

    Hunter, that is you and who you know. Countless of people were interviewed on TV and stated otherwise. The area as promised more business - a dying shotengai if I'm not mistaken. Te new cafes and the like have actually made business worse for them. You can enjoy it but don't assume everyone else does.

    Yubaru, indeed. Reminds me of the tsukiji thing as well.

  • -1

    ka_chan

    Another reason to like Tokyo Tower better.

  • 0

    waltery

    Frozen snow = ice, doesn't it? Any way I agree it's a problem that should have been thought of and resolved before it went up. As for the locals and tourists, perhaps STco can give them crash helmets to be safe untill some one smarte than the builders can resolve the problem.

  • -1

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Property values in the area shot up creating instant millionaires. Rent of any room that had even a peak of the Skytree shot up. Now they will have to make a snow fall chunk fall index to determine how much property values should be reduced as you get closer to the tower.

  • -1

    FPSRussia

    Sounds like The Two Towers: Mordor and Isengard. No sense complaining now. That time has passed. They live in the shadow of the tower now. If anybody ever gets hurt or killed don't expect the insurance companies to pay out. It's an Act of God and no one will be able to confirm the snowball actually came from Tokyo Sky Tree.

  • 0

    gogogo

    Someone is going to get hit or worse, security guards are not going to stop a piece of ice falling on you, let alone anyone seeing it at speed while falling and getting out of the way.

    Sounds like the government needs to shut down the tower to vistors until it is fixed, it would actually get the owners to do something serious about it instead of installing cameras and security guards.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Sounds like the government needs to shut down the tower to vistors until it is fixed, it would actually get the owners to do something serious about it instead of installing cameras and security guards.

    Visitors to the tower has nothing to do with the situation. The falling ice and snow isn't falling on them, it's falling on the residents of the neighborhood where the tower is located.

  • -4

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    I hate Skytree, nothing beneficial about it but a waste of money..they should build more buildings for the old to benefit with..

  • 2

    slumdog

    nothing beneficial about it but a waste of money

    A lot of people seem to be traveling to Tokyo to see it. Seems like there must be at least a bit of benefit from it.

  • 1

    DudeDeuce

    Another reason to like Tokyo Tower better.

    But preferably the towers in Shinjuku wear you can get a view without paying anything.

  • 1

    mrkobayashi

    I did some reading about the incident and found out that they have 45 cameras installed to monitor snow build-up. Didn't help much in this case, though.

  • -1

    Sherman

    I always go there for lunch. It is the only place I can go without seeing the damn place.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Yeah, the headline is misleading. "Frozen Snow" is "ice" in any other country. IIRC, there were issues with the Sky tree last winter that generated the same comments as this time - including the attempted comparison to the CN Tower in Toronto and the revelation that it, too, has falling ice issues.

    Eventually, I see the solution being the Sky Tower company is going to have to buy out the houses surrounding the tower and level them. In the long run that would be cheaper than paying for the repairs every time the tower damages a residence.

  • -1

    humanrights

    HAHAHA very funny story! I can just see 60 Security guys telling people Huge Snow is falling from the sky and people 'Ey ey???. 1600 injuries from cars? I have been to Tokyo during heavy snowfall and I couldnt believe how fast people were driving! They have snow gyres, which apparently gives your Car super car abilities to ignore slippery roads. Come on!

  • 3

    Fadamor

    I hate Skytree, nothing beneficial about it but a waste of money..

    On the contrary, it benefits everyone on the outskirts of Tokyo who want to watch TV. That's the primary reason it was builtas tall as it was, after all. The observation decks were only a secondary reason.

  • 2

    The passage

    Hmmm...

    Falling snow from Tokyo Skytree crashes through roof of home

    Sounds ultradramatic. Snow crashing through several cm's of clay tiles? Wooden slats? Aluminium roofing?

    hitting the roof covering the home’s veranda

    Ah, so maybe the 3mm clear plastic covering that chips even if a bird hits it? Would be nice to have more info on this as it sounds like it is being sensationalised, either by locals or by AFP. Would be interesting to see a report (independant) on the real effects.

  • -1

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Got an idea.... heat the Tree during snow or ice storms..... this way it just melts off.

  • 0

    Livvie

    Could be mistaken but I believe CN Tower in Toronto isn't really in a residential area so it may not be as big of an issue. Sky Tree is smack dab in the middle of Shitamachi so you know how densely populated the area is. Maybe they should have built it near Tokyo Bay instead ?

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Could be mistaken but I believe CN Tower in Toronto isn't really in a residential area so it may not be as big of an issue.

    LOL, tell that to the cabbies who were dodging chunks of ice on a windy day.

    A freezing rain storm on March 2, 2007 resulted in a layer of ice several centimetres thick forming on the side of the tower and other downtown buildings. The sun thawed the ice, and winds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) blew some of it away from the structure. There were fears that cars and windows of nearby buildings would be smashed by large chunks of ice. In response, police closed some streets surrounding the tower. During morning rush hour on March 5, police expanded the area of closed streets to include the Gardiner Expressway 310 metres (1,017 ft) away from the tower, as increased winds blew the ice farther away, as far north as King Street, 490 m (1,608 ft) away, where a taxicab window was shattered.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CN_Tower#Falling_ice_danger

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Got an idea.... heat the Tree during snow or ice storms..... this way it just melts off.

    Considering most heating methods involve electrical resistance to convert current to heat, you'd need a couple of the nuke reactors to start back up to provide enough current to keep the SkyTree structure ice-free. I don't see that happening.

  • -2

    Yubaru

    Sounds ultradramatic. Snow crashing through several cm's of clay tiles? Wooden slats? Aluminium roofing?

    Does it matter really what material it was?

    If you had read the article it was a 30cm hole that got left behind. Also if you read the article, odds are it was a "totan" roofing, because it was on the balcony or porch area that was hit.

    Totan used to be only galvanized sheet metal, but now-a-days, it's made from heavy duty thick, plastic material as well. And it can usually withstand quite a lot.

  • 0

    The passage

    Does it matter really what material it was? Absolutely it does - a whole in a tile roof requires a lot more power than one in thin plastic. Also, how old is the plastic because as you will know, as it ages it gets more brittle, especially after extended UV exposure.

    If you had read the article it was a 30cm hole that got left behind. Also if you read the article, odds are it was a "totan" roofing, because it was on the balcony or porch area that was hit. I read the article then wondered why the title was so dramatic. Hence my post here.

  • 0

    The passage

    Does it matter really what material it was?

    Absolutely it does - a whole in a tile roof requires a lot more power than one in thin plastic. Also, how old is the plastic because as you will know, as it ages it gets more brittle, especially after extended UV exposure.

    If you had read the article it was a 30cm hole that got left behind. Also if you read the article, odds are it was a "totan" roofing, because it was on the balcony or porch area that was hit.

    I read the article then wondered why the title was so dramatic. Hence my post here.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    Absolutely it does - a whole in a tile roof requires a lot more power than one in thin plastic

    Your assumption about thin and material. Either way, a 30cm hole, no matter the material, is a problem. Whatever hit it would probably been enough to seriously injure or even kill a person if it hit them.

    THAT is what matters. JT often puts dramatic sounding titles to it's articles, grabbed your attention I see.

  • 0

    The passage

    JT often puts dramatic sounding titles to it's articles, grabbed your attention I see.

    That's exactly my point! Cheers!

  • -2

    basroil

    smithinjapanJan. 17, 2013 - 09:43AM JST

    It was only a matter of time, and it's only a matter of time until someone gets killed. Obviously they didn't think about this very clearly when designing the thing.

    DisillusionedJan. 17, 2013 - 11:04AM JST

    Somebody will get killed by this and will anybody be held accountable? Unlikely!

    tmarieJan. 17, 2013 - 09:43AM JST

    well that's just it Yubaru, it shouldn't have been built there. The community was against it due to safety issues. Of course, no one listened to them.

    One thing is the same in all of these posts: They all assume this is rare for other buildings. Deaths by falling ice/snow/glass/etc are quite rare even if the occurrences of falling objects are common. But they do happen, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Other than making everything just one floor of course, and even then falling icicles can still kill you.

    Any building can have snow and ice come off, and any building over 50 meters has enough height for that object to hit terminal velocity (assuming a baseball shaped piece of ice). It doesn't matter if you drop ice from the top of Shibuya 109 or from SkyTree, the ice/snow will be going the same speed (and have same result on impact). The only thing that is different is how far wind can carry the ice/snow.

  • -3

    basroil

    Marilita Fabie-FujisawaJan. 17, 2013 - 03:50PM JST

    I hate Skytree, nothing beneficial about it but a waste of money

    You clearly don't understand what SkyTree is. It's not an observation tower, and it's not there for looks. The reason is plain and simple, they needed a communications tower that won't be blocked by much taller buildings.

    Tokyo tower also started it's live with that purpose, but buildings in practically every direction have made it impossible to get the coverage needed. That and the fact that Tokyo Tower suffered earthquake damage because it wasn't designed for even weak earthquakes while SkyTree is made to survive even a catastrophic one, and in an emergency, broadcasting cannot be hampered. .

  • 2

    Hunter Brumfield

    One thing is the same in all of these posts: They all assume this is rare for other buildings. Deaths by falling ice/snow/glass/etc are quite rare even if the occurrences of falling objects are common.

    basroil -- all good points. You forgot to mention potted plants or clumsy cats falling from 5th-story balconies. At least that will never happen from Sky Tree!

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