Fewer than half village venues have passed safety inspections
With athletes beginning to pour into Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games that begin in less than two weeks, officials admitted this week that only 12 of 31 buildings in the Olympic Village in which competitors will be housed have passed safety inspections.
Stress tests have not yet been conducted in every building because construction on the $1 billion complex of 17-story buildings was so far behind schedule, according to The Guardian. On Sunday, a “small fire” broke out where the Dutch team is supposed to stay.
Australian team officials found their quarters uninhabitable when their building failed a stress test.
“We decided to do a ‘stress test’ where taps and toilets were simultaneously turned on in apartments on several floors to see if the system could cope once the athletes are inhouse,” Kitty Chiller, the Australian Olympic Committee’s chef de mission, said in a statement published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The system failed. Water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was ‘shorting’ in the electrical wiring.”
Spokesman Mario Andrada said only 12 of the 31 tower blocks had been checked, although officials promised to have issues cleared up by Thursday, a week and a day ahead of the Opening Ceremonies. “This should have been tested a long time ago,” he said.” But the problem is there, and now our task is to fix it as quickly as possible and to ensure everything is safe.” As for the fire in the Dutch rooms, Andrada said “a technician was working on a fuse box. There was a short circuit and a small fire, which he extinguished himself. The electricity was disconnected, and there was no need for an evacuation or to call firefighters.”
Overall, only about 10 per cent of the athletes who will compete have arrived.
The brand-new complex of residential towers at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are where nearly 11,000 athletes and some 6,000 coaches and other handlers will stay.