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Safety fears delay Warsaw’s National Stadium opening

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 25.05.2011 11:21
An elaborate spiral staircase ringing the new National Stadium in Warsaw has failed safety tests, prompting significant delays to the completion of the building, being built for the Euro 2012 football championships.


The stadium, which was due to be launched with great fanfare on 6 August, may be delayed by up to ten months, according to the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

The Warsaw hitch comes hot on the heels of setbacks at the new Gdansk stadium, the latter also an official host of Euro 2012. A friendly soccer match between France and Poland, due to take place on 9 June, had to be transferred this week and it will now take place at the Legia Warszawa stadium in Warsaw.

The staircase at the National Stadium, which will host the opening match of the Euro 2012 championships, was conceived as a communal escape route for fans in the event of exceptional circumstances.

“It turns out they do not meet requirements,” said Karolina Szydlowska, a spokesperson for the consortium of firms managing the construction.

Tests reveal that it is not a matter of a weak point that needs adjusting but rather the entire ring of stairs. Experts hold that the problem lies in the assembly of the stairs, and consequently the entire structure may have to be taken down and re-assembled.

To add insult to injury, reports have also emerged of problems connected with electrical installations on the site.

According to the contract, construction of the stadium was due to conclude on 30 June. Likewise, tickets were due to go on sale this week for the inaugural event, the Red Bull X-Fighters stunt motorcycling contest. Sales have now been postponed. (nh/pg)

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