Building Collapses and Explosions
Building collapses generally fall into one of two categories, implosion and explosion. Implosion is a technique that is often used by demolition specialists to minimize the spread of debris when purposely demolishing buildings.
In the case of explosion, either caused by an outward rush of force caused by natural, mechanical, or chemical forces, the building will collapse in an "outward" direction. It is likely that the debris will be more wide spread in the vicinity of the collapse.
Buildings, like all structures, are designed to support certain loads without deforming excessively. The loads are the weights of people and objects, the weight of rain and snow and the pressure of wind--called live loads--and the dead load of the building itself. With buildings of a few floors, strength generally accompanies sufficient rigidity, and the design is mainly that of a roof that will keep the weather out while spanning large open spaces. With tall buildings of many floors, the roof is a minor matter, and the support of the weight of the building itself is the main consideration. Like long bridges, tall buildings are subject to catastrophic collapse.