In 1995, employees at the five-story Sampoong department store in Seoul, South Korea, noticed cracks developing on the top floor around one of the support columns. Despite warnings from civil engineers, the store’s owner refused to close the building for repairs.
It was a minor problem, he insisted.
In reality, the crack was merely a symptom of a much larger structural failure. That became evident on June 29 when the entire building collapsed, killing over 500 people and wounding nearly 1,000 more.