Chamber on Athens metro hole

The massive ground subsidence during tunneling work for the metro in northern Athens that opened a 12-meter pit in a busy road on Tuesday could have been prevented had detailed studies been conducted into the geology of the area, experts said yesterday. «Had the geotechnical conditions of the area where the mishap occurred been fully and accurately known, the mishap could have been forestalled,» the Technical Chamber of Greece, which represents engineers, construction firms and architects, said in a statement yesterday. «Projects involving underground excavations are particularly difficult and are affected by many factors, therefore their execution without mishap requires that continuous, particular attention be paid to their monitoring and support,» the statement said. Athens Metro officials cited old wells and tunnels as a likely reason for the subsidence under Doukissis Plakentias Street, which collapsed early on Tuesday pulling in a passing car whose driver escaped with slight injuries. International experts are due in Athens next week to investigate the incident.

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