Disasters: The Place Is Coming Apart

"Hold on a second," came the voice over a long-distance line from Renton, Wash., to Wichita, Kans., one morning last week. "The building is shaking." Dutifully, Boeing Aircraft Co. Employee Art Malever in Wichita held the receiver and waited. Then Otis Loyles, an employee at Boeing's Renton plant, and the man to whom Malever had been talking, came back on the line. "The place is beginning to oscillate pretty heavily," Loyles said in his best aerodynamic terminology. "Art, I'm getting out. The place is coming apart."

For the next few minutes, Malever...

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