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Wed, May 26, 2004

Paris Airport May Destroy Buckled Terminal

New Indications Of Further Collapse

New sounds of disintegration forced evacuations near the collapsed international terminal at Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris Monday. Airport officials are now thinking of razing the entire building to the ground in the wake of Sunday's deadly collapse.

Four travellers were killed when the roof of the showcase terminal, which was completed just 11 months ago, collapsed into rubble. Cracks similar to those heard Monday, along with clouds of dust, gave authorities scant warning of the disaster.

The new signs of stress came as French Transport Minister was called before Parliament to brief lawmakers on Sunday's disaster.

"A design fault? A fault during construction? All the technical hypotheses are possible but we have nothing that allows us to reach any conclusions," he said. "We want to know at least the initial conclusions and we have asked for an interim report in June."

An architect visited the crushed terminal Tuesday, but refused to comment when questioned by reporters. Airport Director Remy Brun said, "We don't expect to put it back into service for several months, maybe even a year."

FMI: www.adp.fr/webadp/a_cont01_an.nsf/$$Affich@ReadForm&cle=X500.html

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