Structural engineer examines photos from inside casino collapse

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Using recently obtained pictures of the concrete collapse at the Horseshoe Casino, FOX19 reached out to a structural engineer to examine the photos and share his expert opinion on what may have caused the incident.

A picture may say a thousand words, but sometimes a translator is needed.

When it comes to structural engineering, Dr. Gian Rassati is a master of the language.

"We focus on bolted connections," he explained of his research. "That's pretty much our bread and butter."

Looking at the photos obtained by FOX19, Rassati was able to point out key issues visible in the scene of the collapse.

"You can almost see the tops of these other two beams are twisted this way. I guess that the metal decking kind of pulled them in as it was falling down," Rassati said pointing at one picture.

As for a possible cause of the collapse, Rassati says he focused in on one particular image.

"Whoa," Rassati reacted. "So it looks like two bolts, huh?"

Two bolt connection from steel beams to columns are OSHA approved, however, as long as they are able to carry the load.

"It takes a little bit of time to actually install a bolt and so two bolts takes less time than 18 bolts," he explained.  "This being said there are actually pretty strict requirements for actually installing bolts. Probably they were just temporary."

Rassati estimated the weight of the beam alone to be 9,000 pounds. With the concrete being poured on top, Rassati says the sheer weight appears to have sheered the steel.

"Looking at that it looks like two bolts and just two holes rather weren't quite enough to support it," he said.

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