Name changed per author request.
I certainly don’t want to see anybody get hurt. That said, if anybody would have been in the parking lot with the current structure, I believe they would have been more hurt than being hit by just metal roofing, because of the mass involved. Yes the roofing could cut them and they could bleed out, however if I had to have the current roof hit me or just a tin sheet, I’d take the tin sheet.
Also, if the wind gets that gusty, how many people will still be hanging out there?
I suggest that one side of the metal roof sheets be securely attached, the other side not, so if the winds overload it they will open up like blinds.
I’m not a structural engineer, or a contractor, but I believe we need to brainstorm this and consider how to avoid it happening again, for both cost and safety reasons.
I think a concrete roof is a bad idea for safety reasons. We should have the least amount of mass on the top as possible, because it’s acting like a sail since we don’t have or want walls.