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On 23 Dec 1997, a portion of the main ore conveyor at a large mine collapsed onto a highway and shut down mine operations. The conveyor structure that collapsed was supported by a steel truss spanning 185 ft. Truss failure occurred just as the conveyor transport rate was increased to 8,260 tph. Under this total loading, which was only slightly above the regular operating condition, a poorly designed and fabricated transition joint in the west lower chord failed, thereby overloading other key structural members and causing the entire truss to collapse. Another contributing cause of the collapse was the...

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