Fewer than half vil­lage venues have passed safety in­spec­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CINDY BOREN

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.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

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.

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