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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 July, 2004, 14:08 GMT 15:08 UK
Paris inquiry spotlights concrete
Collapsed section of terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport
The concrete roof was apparently deteriorating, investigators say
The collapse of part of a terminal at Paris airport in May was caused by metal supports perforating its concrete roof, an initial inquiry has found.

Four people died and three were injured when the concrete and glass building caved in at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle.

Investigators found the metal support structure had perforated the concrete, causing it to split and fall in.

The exact reasons were not known, said the report, but the concrete was probably deteriorating.

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
"The main cause of the collapse is linked to perforation of the concrete archway by (cylindrical metal struts)," the transport ministry said.

"It's probable that this perforation was made possible by the prior gradual deterioration of the concrete."

The accident at the ultra-modern Terminal 2E sparked speculation that the whole section of the building, or even the whole terminal, might have to be demolished.

But ministry sources told the French news agency AFP there were currently no plans to knock the rest of the building down.

"It's only if it should appear irreparable that the building will be demolished," the sources said.

The 750-million euro terminal was handling 20,000 people a day.

Two Chinese, one Czech person and one Lebanese citizen died.

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