Stadium management didn't learn from 1996

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

A dome disaster like last Friday's nearly happened a decade ago.

The stadium's steam snow-melt system was not used during one of Vancouver's worst 20th century snowstorms on Dec. 29, 1996, according to a 24 hours' source. Workers rushed upstairs to desperately spray hot water to melt the snow and save the roof, just days before the Three Tenors' New Year's Eve concert.

It was so chaotic that a supervisor nearly fell off the dome, but was caught just in time by a co-worker. The repair bill was in the low six-figures, according to the 24 hours' source.

Like last Friday's collapse, it was entirely preventable. Roof material maker Birdair warned stadium management earlier in 1996 to never allow "roof contamination" - including snow.

Stadium director of operations Brian Griffin refused to answer 24 hours' questions about the non-use of snow melting systems during that 1996 incident.


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