Eight dead in cave-in at south China subway construction site

An image taken from video footage run by China’s CCTV shows a section of a collapsed road in Foshan in southern China’s Guangdong Province. (CCTV via AP Video)
Updated 08 February 2018
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Eight dead in cave-in at south China subway construction site

BEIJING: A cave-in at a subway line construction site in southern China killed eight people and left three others missing, authorities said Thursday.
The municipal government in Foshan said the collapse occurred at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday and that nine workers were rescued and were in stable condition.
Foshan is in the industrial heartland of Guangdong province, close to the financial hub of Hong Kong.
The site of the collapse was in a central area of the city beneath an eight-lane road. An area the size of two basketball courts sunk to a depth of 6 meters (20 feet), according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Water had been entering the site from leaks in pipes, which workers attempted to plug but ultimately caused a burst that led to the collapse, CCTV said.
The line under construction runs for 23 kilometers (14 miles) through the city north of the provincial capital of Guangzhou, also known as Canton.
The rapid expansion of subway networks in Chinese cities has frequently led to cave-ins and other deadly accidents. While China has made considerable progress in improving industrial safety, scores are still killed annually in factories, coal mines and transportation networks.
Most recently, gas leaking from a pipeline at a steel mill in Guangdong killed eight people and injured 10 on Monday.
In the deadliest recent incident, an explosion in 2015 traced to improperly stored chemicals killed at least 173 people in the port city of Tianjin, about an hour east of Beijing.


German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

A car passes a traffic sign showing a ban on diesel cars at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg, Germany, on May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer)
Updated 25 min 44 sec ago
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German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

  • Diesel bans will affect two streets, non-Euro-6 models
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

BERLIN: Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, will ban the most polluting diesel vehicles from two major streets from next week, a move that could spur others to follow suit and raise pressure on carmakers to consider costly vehicle refits.
Hamburg, home to around 1.8 million people, said on Wednesday the ban would start on May 31 and affect diesel models that do not meet the latest Euro-6 emissions standards.
This follows a ruling in February by Germany’s top administrative court that the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf should consider bans for older diesels.
The detailed publication of that ruling last Friday showed local authorities were entitled to implement targeted bans with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels into line with European Union rules, although curbs affecting wider city areas should only be phased in over time.
Bans on diesel vehicles from city centers are also planned in Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to bar new diesel cars from entering the city center as soon as next year.
Since the German ruling was disclosed, the environment minister of Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, has said banning older diesel vehicles could also be an option for the regional capital Kiel, a city of about 250,000 people.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze — a member of the Social Democrats, junior partners in Merkel’s coalition government — urged carmakers to roll out retrofits for diesel cars to lower emissions. “Driving bans like those in Hamburg show how serious the situation is,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “It’s up to the car industry now.”
Levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted by diesel engines and known to cause respiratory disease should fall significantly as more efficient Euro-6 models are sold and emissions-cleaning software updates take effect, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
The bans in Hamburg affect a section of about 1.6 km (one mile) on Stresemannstrasse, where the restrictions will apply only to commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 tons or more, and a section of about 580 meters on Max-Brauer-Allee, covering all diesel vehicles.
Both thoroughfares are in Altona, a busy district in the west of the city.
Drivers aiming for a destination on the two affected streets, including residents, trash collectors, suppliers and taxis, will be exempt from the restrictions as they are designed to filter out through traffic, a spokesman for Hamburg’s environment and energy department said.
Of the 330,000 diesel cars on Hamburg’s roads, only about 116,000 have the Euro-6 technology that was introduced in 2014, according to local government data.
Police will make random checks and fine drivers of older diesel cars 25 euros ($30) and truck owners up to 75 euros for violating the new rules, he said.