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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Paris probes airport collapse
Collapsed section of terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
About 400 companies worked on the terminal project
Investigations have resumed at Paris' Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport into what caused the deadly collapse of a terminal roof.

The architect who designed the 11-month-old building was flying to the airport on Tuesday to offer his help.

There have been no new alarms since cracking sounds were heard in another part of Terminal 2E on Monday.

Four people were killed in Sunday's roof collapse, but confusion remains over the identities of the dead.

A Czech woman thought to have been killed is alive and well, a Czech foreign ministry spokesman told AFP news agency.

The woman carrying the passport was apparently on the way to Miami and was making a stopover in Paris after arriving there from the Ukraine.

Investigators have identified two Chinese nationals but the fourth victim has also yet to be identified.

Hairline cracks

The airport's operations director, Hubert Fontanel, said temporary supports would be installed in the section of the terminal where the new cracking sounds were heard.

TERMINAL 2E
Opened in June 2003
Cost: 750m euros (500m)
Floor space: 104,000 sq m
Capacity: six million passengers a year
Made from reinforced concrete and 36,000 sq m of glass
Plane parking gates: 10

"It is important for the investigation to keep the structure in its actual state," he said.

Mr Fontanel, who oversaw the construction of the terminal, said on Monday that hairline cracks had appeared during early building work, in some of the concrete pillars holding up the structure.

All the pylons were reinforced with carbon fibre, he said.

The problem had happened in a different area of the terminal from Sunday's collapse and there was nothing to suggest there was a link, he said.

The 750m-euro (500m) terminal consists of two long tunnel-like buildings connected by a central passageway. It was constructed using concrete, glass and steel.

Sunday's accident happened when a section of roof collapsed over one of the outer buildings, where passengers were waiting to board flights.

Architect 'aghast'

The flagship terminal, which handles about 20,000 passengers a day, remains closed.

The architect who designed the terminal, Paul Andreu, was due to arrive at the airport from Beijing, where he is working on a new National Theatre.

Mr Andreu, an internationally-renowned expert in airport buildings, has said he is "aghast" at the roof collapse, but said there was "nothing revolutionary" about the design.


Investigators and representatives from some of the 400 companies which worked on the project have gone to the site, north of Paris.

The investigation is likely to focus on a possible design fault, problems in the actual construction, and whether sub-standard materials were used.

The state-run operator of Paris' airports, ADP, has said the entire terminal could be demolished if a design flaw was shown to be the cause of the collapse.

The terminal opened in June 2003 after delays caused by security concerns and trade union accusations that construction was being rushed.

Investigators have raised the possibility of bringing charges of involuntary manslaughter.


SEE ALSO:
Profile: Paul Andreu
24 May 04  |  Europe
Paris airport roof collapse: Your reaction
24 May 04  |  Have Your Say
Sharp rise in global air traffic
03 May 04  |  Business


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