Collapsed roof of Paris airport to be razed

17th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 17 (AFP) - The entire roof of the departure area of Terminal 2E at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport - scene of a fatal collapse last May - is to be demolished and rebuilt, the Paris airports authority ADP announced Thursday.

PARIS, March 17 (AFP) - The entire roof of the departure area of Terminal 2E at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport - scene of a fatal collapse last May - is to be demolished and rebuilt, the Paris airports authority ADP announced Thursday.

The terminal - which cost EUR 750 million (USD 1 billion) and was open for less than a year - should be operating normally by the end of 2007, ADP said.

"On the basis of internal and external studies, Aeroports de Paris has chosen the solution of rebuilding the roof," the company said in a statement.

"This solution makes it possible to conserve all the lower parts of the building which do not present any problem," it said.

Four people died and three were injured on May 23 when a 30-metre(100-foot) section of the curving roof of the 650-metre departure lounge collapsed.

ADP president Pierre Graff submitted the roof demolition proposal to the company's board Thursday morning, the statement said.

"ADP will carry out studies to finalise the reconstruction solution that has been adopted and which will permit a total re-opening of Terminal 2E for the winter season of 2007-2008," the statement said.

In an interview with AFP Graff said the cost of the work would be around EUR 100 million.

"There was one single criterion: the safety of staff and passengers. Several so-called repair solutions were studied but we threw them out because they did not offer a total and unambiguous guarantee in the matter of safety.

Everyone understands there is no question of taking the smallest risk," Graff said.

The decision to replace the roof of the building should not affect the timetable for the part-privatisation of ADP which is due at the end of 2005 or beginning of 2006, Graff said.

Last month a technical enquiry found that structural weaknesses were to blame for the roof collapse. A magistrate is to determine whether individuals or companies should be placed under judicial investigation for "involuntary homicide."

Terminal 2E was designed by internationally-renowned architect Paul Andreu, who has rejected any suggestion that his plans were at fault.

Shaped like a long tube with no internal supporting structures, the departure area was built in a series of interlocking concrete rings. The curving roof was perforated with square spaces to let in the light and covered with a glass outer shell.

The report found that the concrete suffered from "insufficient or badly positioned reinforcement," and that there was a lack of "redundancy" - in other words the possibility of transferring stress to other parts of the structure.

The terminal has returned to full capacity with a hastily-built temporary departure lounge.

An ADP spokesman Thursday denied suggestions that the two-and-a-half year delay before the original departure area is functioning again would effect the introduction of the Airbus A380 superjumbo, for which the terminal was conceived.

"There is plenty of other space for the superjumbo at Charles de Gaulle," he said.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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