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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 May, 2004, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Paris airport roof collapse kills five
Collapsed section of terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
The terminal is used by Air France among others
At least five people have been killed and three hurt after a roof collapsed at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

The reason for the collapse in terminal 2E, a newly-constructed part of France's biggest international airport, was not immediately clear.

However, cracks and falling dust had been observed just before the accident, said an airport spokesman.

Flights from New York and Johannesburg had just arrived at the terminal and a flight to Prague was due to depart.

A spokesman said it was not yet possible to be certain about the number of victims as there might still be people trapped beneath the wreckage.

Earlier reports gave the number of dead as six, but rescue workers said the sixth victim had not been confirmed.

Searching the rubble

Reports say sections of the roof fell onto a boarding footway. The passage in turn collapsed onto airport service vehicles parked underneath.

Having just passed by the area where the roof collapsed, hours before, I am shocked and relieved I was not involved in the carnage
Michael, Edinburgh

A spokesman for the airport said that the affected area had been relatively quiet at the time of the collapse. "Several tonnes of concrete and glass have collapsed," Laurent Vibert, a spokesman for the fire service told LCI television.

Rubble was strewn over a 30m area.

"Some people heard cracks before the accident and there was concrete dust coming from the ceiling. This was a very prestigious hall and it's a very hard day for us today," an airport spokesman told reporters outside the terminal.

Map of airport
Named after the French statesman
Also known as Roissy Airport
Began service in March 1974
France's main airport and one of Europe's largest
Has three terminals
Connected to commuter rail network and high speed TGV rail lines
25 July 2000 Air France Concorde crashed after coming into contact with runway debris
Emergency information on rescue and flights
+33 1 48 64 59 59
President Jacques Chirac his "deepest sympathy" with the injured and the families and victims.

The French Transport Minister, Gilles de Robien, and Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin have visited the scene of the accident.

Terminal 2E cost 750m euros to build and was opened in 2003. It is used by Air France and the Sky Team alliance.

The opening of the terminal was delayed by a week last year when a security team refused to give the go-ahead.

The Paris airport group (ADP) said at the time that a large lamp had fallen from the ceiling just as the team of engineers, architects and firefighters had been inspecting the site.

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