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Thread: Commonwealth Games in crisis after bridge and roof collapse

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    Default Commonwealth Games in crisis after bridge and roof collapse

    Weightlifting roof collapse follows bridge collapse at Delhi Commonwealth Games
    Local television station NDTV reported the collapse of part of the false ceiling at the venue.

    Security personnel near the waterlogged weightlifting stadium at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium complex several weeks ago / AP
    Indian workers stand at the scene of the bridge collapse near Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi / AP
    The collapse of the bridge has fuelled athletes' concerns over safety and security issues /AP

    PART of the ceiling of the newly built Delhi Commonwealth Games weightlifting venue has collapsed, raising fresh concerns over safet


    The Times of India website reported the ceiling fell directly over the weightlifting area of the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which is the main event venue of the games.

    It comes a day after a pedestrian bridge collapsed adjacent to the same stadium, injuring 27 people.

    Earlier today, Scotland delayed sending its team to the Games over concerns about safety and accommodation in India, Sky News reported.

    The move comes as Team Scotland's chief travels to New Delhi for emergency talks.

    There has been widespread anger over India's last-minute preparations for the games, which are due to start Oct. 3.

    Buildings are unfinished, a bridge has collapsed, and the athletes' village is said to be filthy.

    Team Scotland said in a statement today that officials who visited the athletes' accommodation last week found it "unsafe and unfit for human habitation."


    Scotland's decision comes in the wake of a string of controversies to hit the Games.

    Sports Minister Mark Arbib today warned that more athletes were likely to skip the New Delhi event over safety fears as high-profile pull-outs and the bridge collapse fueled concerns over the event.

    Mr Arbib said officials expected more competitors to follow women's world discus champion Dani Samuels, who withdrew late yesterday over health and security worries after a tourist shooting three days earlier.

    The tearful Samuels, who called it the "hardest decision of my life," was swiftly followed by England's world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, who said his safety was more important than a medal.

    English Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu and 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey withdrew citing injuries, joining Jamaican superstars Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell on the sidelines of the tournament.

    Mr Arbib said Australia's games chief Perry Crosswhite was expecting further pull-outs, in a blow to organisers' hopes that athletic prowess could overcome controversies including corruption and a "filthy" athletes village.

    "He didn't have any information about any other athletes but he thought there could be a number more who made that decision," Mr Arbib told Sky News Australia, adding Australia would restrict athletes' visits to public places.

    Australia warned of a "high risk of terrorism" during the Games after unknown gunmen on a motorbike sprayed a tourist bus with submachine gun fire, wounding two Taiwanese holidaymakers.

    Yesterday, the Commonwealth Games Federation blasted the official athletes' accommodation as "uninhabitable" with rubble in doorways and malfunctioning toilets, along with urgent electrical problems.

    "The reality is that if the village is not ready and athletes can't come, the implications are that it's not going to happen," New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie warned.

    Thousands of workers have been laboring around the clock to finish sports facilities and the athletes' village, as well as to clear up piles of building rubble that still litter large parts of the capital.

    Also yesterday, a footbridge being built at the main Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which will host the opening ceremony and athletics, collapsed injuring 27 labourers, four of them seriously.

    Building work for the games, expected to draw 7000 athletes and officials, has been severely delayed and doubts had already been raised about its quality.

    India's chief anti-corruption body found a host of problems with construction work in a July investigation, including dubious contracts and the use of poor quality materials.

    Building delays have also allowed pools of rainwater to form at games sites, causing an outbreak of the mosquito-born dengue fever which has killed four people in Delhi this year and stoked worry among athletes, including Samuels.

    England's Idowu, 31, said he could not risk competing because he has two young children.

    "Sorry people, but I have children to think about," Idowu tweeted. "My safety is more important to them than a medal."

    New Zealand's team will decide later this week whether to pull out en masse, as officials assess security following Sunday's shooting at a famous mosque.

    Read more: Weightlifting roof collapse follows bridge collapse at Delhi Commonwealth Games | News.com.au




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    A*O
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    The games are due to start in 11 DAYS' time. It will be a complete shambles - just look at the pics! - and totally predictable. I'd love to know how much bakshish was handed over to have the games hosted by Delhi in the first place. If I was an athlete or spectator there's no way I'd be going. More and more athletes and even some teams are beginning to pull out over (legitimate) concerns about their health and safety.
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