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Monday, September 13, 1999 Published at 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK


New delay for Millennium Wheel

An artist's impression of how the London Eye will dominate the skyline

Attempts to lift upright the £20m British Airways Millennium Wheel on the bank of the River Thames in London have been postponed for four weeks.

Plans to hoist the 443ft Ferris wheel into position were first shelved on Friday after a support cable came loose.

It was initially thought the delay would be only a week.

But BA said it was still confident that the 1,500-tonne wheel would be ready for an official opening on 31 December.

"A lot of other work is now being resequenced so that we can make up for this delay," said a spokesman.

Bracket rethink

The wheel was being lifted into position at the start of a 16-hour operation on Friday when the cable, which was temporarily connecting the central hub of the wheel to the outer part, came loose, causing others to do the same.

[ image: The wheel will rotate slowly with passengers seated in glass capsules]
The wheel will rotate slowly with passengers seated in glass capsules
Now a socket bracket holding temporary cables which were helping with the lift has to be redesigned and load-tested.

The wheel is lying on special pontoons on the river next to the South Bank.

Officially called the British Airways London Eye, it is the largest of its kind in the world and will tower over the historic landmarks of St Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben.

Its 32 French-made passenger-carrying capsules will give tourists spectacular 25-mile views across the London skyline.

Visitors will get a 30-minute ride on the giant wheel, which is expected to attract two million visitors in its first year.

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10 Sep 99†|†UK
Work on London Eye halted

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