Safety fears for Commonwealth Games

Wednesday 22 Sep 2010

Poor building work blamed as many athletes reconsider taking part in the 2010 Games

Concern is rapidly mounting for the safety of athletes and spectators at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi – scheduled to commence on 3rd October. Yesterday, a pedestrian footbridge designed to act as the main entranceway to the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium collapsed, injuring up to 27 labourers. Five are thought to be in a critical condition.

News comes today that a section of ceiling at a newly built weightlifting venue has collapsed – directly over the weightlifting area. Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandreshekhar told waiting journalists: “The cables which were to be set up for the data network were placed on the false ceiling and due to the weight of the cables the ceiling fell off. It’s a minor thing and it will be corrected. It’s not a matter to be worried about.”

Such reports will do nothing to ease the minds of athletes currently torn between taking part in an event of this magnitude and putting their safety first. Many high-profile athletes have already pulled out of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, including world discus champion Dani Samuels, world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu, Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, 1500m runner Lisa Dobriskey, record holder Usain Bolt and Jamaican sprinting star Asafa Powell.

Many other sportsmen and women are thought to be reconsidering their involvement in the Games after the still-unfinished athlete’s village was found to be ‘unsafe and unfit for human habitation’, with building rubble still in immense piles in doorways, serious electrical issues and faulty toilets.

Terrorist activity is also high on the list of concerns after two Taiwanese tourists were wounded by gunmen in an attack that has been reportedly played-down as ‘local mischief’ by police, whilst mosquito-borne dengue fever has already claimed the lives of four people this year. Many of the 71 nations currently down to compete in the Games are thought to pull out over the next few days.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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