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Workers forced to stop at 'unsafe' BER airport

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Workers forced to stop at 'unsafe' BER airport
These stands won't be seeing any aircraft for a long time yet. Photo: DPA
16:37 CEST+02:00
Work on Berlin's much-delayed new BER airport has suffered another setback as builders had to down tools on Monday over fears that the roof could not support the air conditioning units that have been installed.

No more construction can take place in the main hall of the terminal until an engineer has examined the safety of the entire structure, local authorities in Dahme-Spreewald county said.

County officials "verbally declared an immediate stop to construction on all surfaces under the whole terminal roof at BER", they said.

Structural analysts found that the weight supported by the roof had massively exceeded the original load the building was supposed to bear.

The delay to further construction is likely to have a knock-on effect on the schedule for the airport's completion – already years late on its original opening date set for mid-2012.

Originally unable to enter service because of serious failures in the planning and construction of the fire safety systems, the airport has suffered further delays as the short-cuts taken to have it ready for opening – such as in laying cabling - proved dangerous or had to be undone.

And bankruptcy at the company originally supposed to supply the internal equipment of the building has thrown yet another spanner into the works. 

It is not yet clear whether the latest problems will further delay the new opening, set for the second half of 2017.

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