Mystery Deepens Over Chandelier Accident; Engineer Implicated

The mystery of Monday night's chandelier accident continues on Wednesday, after police continue to conduct engineering tests on the fallen light fixture and compare it to that installed in the second part of the hall.

An investigation revealed that the entire fixture weighed 350 kilograms (771 lbs) without four engines attached to the structure (presumably to lower and raise the chandelier – ed.) and was kept aloft by four 6 mm (0.4 inches) cables attached to the engines.

All four cables were torn from their anchors, but police have managed to affirm that they were not deliberately cut. 

"It is unclear why the four cables were torn from the structure at once," one of the professionals associated with the hall told Walla! News. They should hold a much larger balance than the weight of the construction, and four steel cables should bear the weight of several tons."

"We hired an outside company that specializes in calculating the strength of materials and construction engineering to check the product," a police source added, noting that the chandeliers are custom-made. Police are continuing, as well, to investigate every professional involved in the hall and are attempting to locate the contractor, manufacturer, welder, and engineer responsible for the light fixture. 

So far, they said, it's just one safety engineer who approved the chandelier's installation – and there may be building permits that were never filed.

The safety engineer, named as Otniel Mader, was convicted in February 2005 for carrying out construction work without a license; his conviction was subsequently revoked in favor of 80 hours of community service. 

Monday night's accident killed 54 year-old Aviva Hayon and injured 21 people. Some 800 people had flooded the hall at the time for a wedding. 

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/197213

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