Collapsed Paris terminal 2E to partly reopen

6th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 5 (AFP) - An ultra-modern terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport which was closed in May when part of the roof collapsed, killing four people, is to partially reopen later this month, officials announced on Thursday.

PARIS, Aug 5 (AFP) - An ultra-modern terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport which was closed in May when part of the roof collapsed, killing four people, is to partially reopen later this month, officials announced on Thursday.

A safety commission unanimously approved the partial reopening of Terminal 2E, regional government official Jacques Lebrot told reporters.

The Paris Airport Authority (ADP) said two central sections of the terminal would reopen in the second half of August.

"This initial step will enable us to receive about 10 flights daily," ADP said in a statement.

Part of the terminal's roof caved in on May 23, killing four people and injuring three others. The accident has cut the airport's capacity by 15 percent, forced airlines to use other terminals and caused many flight delays.

A spokeswoman for national carrier Air France said a trial flight between Paris and Casablanca would leave the terminal on August 10.

"If the test is conclusive, we will schedule half a dozen daily departures from August 17 onwards, including four Paris-Casablanca flights and two Paris-Istanbul flights," she said.

Terminal 2E, which cost EUR 750 million (USD 900 million) to build, opened less than a year ago and was handling around 20,000 passengers a day.

A 30-metre section of its departure area, a 650-metre tubular building, collapsed when metal supports bored their way into an overhead concrete vault and caused it to split, the transport ministry announced on July 6.

The safety commission's decision to allow the terminal to start operating again -- after it checked the alarm, fire safety and security systems - must be confirmed by the local government authorities. Lebrot said they would approve the reopening.

"All the safety conditions have been met," he said.

The departure area where the roof collapsed remains closed and under court seal.

Monique Guyon, a member of an Air France health and safety panel, expressed reservations on Thursday about the reopening.

"There is no guarantee for people's safety since we don't yet know the real causes of the accident," she told AFP.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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