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OLYMPICS/ Spotlight

Checks set to make Games venues safe
By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-04-16 06:39


All elevators, boilers and pressure vessels used in Olympic venues, training camps, press centers and designated hotels and hospitals will undergo special safety checks before the upcoming Olympic Games to ensure zero accident, a senior quality control official said Tuesday.

The National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest", is lit in colors at night and reflected in the water in Beijing, April 14, 2008.  [Asianewsphoto]

In addition, lifting appliances such as cranes, and automobiles used in venues or camps are also subject to such checks, Zhang Gang, director of the special equipment supervision bureau of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), told a press briefing.

He said about 16,000 such devices will receive safety checks in Beijing, of which nearly 6,000 are in central areas such as Games venues and training camps.

During the Games, quality officers will be on the spot to ensure the proper functioning of each device, according to the AQSIQ.

Zhang said such equipment needs special attention because "it is closely related to personal safety and could cause fatal accidents".

"The safety of Olympic-related equipment is our priority," he said.

During the Games, which opens on Aug 8, quality control authorities in the host cities are also required to submit a daily report to the AQSIQ about the operation of the special devices.

They have been asked to conduct emergency drills to be prepared for any potential accident, Zhang said.

"With all these measures, I'm confident the safety goals can be reached," he said.

AQSIQ figures released yesterday show that 325 people were killed and 285 were injured in 256 accidents relating to special equipment across the country last year, down 2.7 percent, 18 percent and 14 percent respectively year-on-year. Lifting appliances, elevators and pressure vessels featured in 60 percent of the accidents.

The latest move to ensure a safe Olympics followed the Public Security Ministry's (MPS) announcement during the weekend of a 7-month security campaign. Public entertainment venues, properties leased to the migrants and hotels are listed as key areas.

The ministry said in a circular that the campaign aims to "create a good social security environment for the Games".

"Although the general security situation for the Beijing Olympics remains stable, we still face a large number of factors that may harm the smooth running of the Games," it said.

MPS spokesman Wu Heping last week revealed attempts by two terrorist groups in Xinjiang to kidnap foreigners and carry out suicide attacks in the run-up to, and during, the Games. The groups were plotting attacks on hotels, government buildings and military installations in Beijing and Shanghai, he said.

At yesterday's news briefing, Zhang also said that special equipment such as boilers, elevators and pressurized vessels will undergo energy-consumption checks this year as required by an amendment to a law that takes effect this month.

This year's focus will be on boilers and elevators, he said.

AQSIQ figures show that boilers consumed 2.21 billion tons of coal last year, accounting for 85 percent of the country's coal usage.

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