Epoxy blamed in Big Dig collapse

| 7/13/2007

Federal investigators say a ceiling collapse that killed a woman in one of Boston’s Big Dig tunnels was probably caused by the failure of epoxy glue.

According to a National Transportation Safety Board press release, the adhesive – which was used to secure bolts – could not handle the long-term loads that were placed on it.

On July 10, 2006, a woman was crushed to death when 12 tons of concrete ceiling panels collapsed onto the car she was in.

The NTSB report says that while the overall design of the ceiling panels was reasonable, something engineers call “epoxy creep” apparently occurred, which, over time, caused the panel’s bolts to withdraw from the epoxy.