Thessaloniki building sinks above metro tunnel


Long-delayed construction of the Thessaloniki metro came to a halt on the weekend after a building in the Voulgari district receded some 50 centimeters into the ground above a tunnel, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to Makedonia newspaper, metro engineers and local residents noticed that the apartment building on Papadaki Street, which is home to a kindergarten at ground-floor level, had sunk some 50 centimeters and caused a large fissure on the pavement, prompting an immediate stop in all construction in the area.

Responding to the report with an announcement on Tuesday, the company responsible for building the northern port city’s subway system, Attiko Metro SA, neither confirmed nor denied that the building had been affected, saying that the collapse was restricted to the area around the building.

Sources on Tuesday said that the company is carrying out inspections to ensure the stability of other buildings in the vicinity – something that would entail additional costs and time – though this was not confirmed by the official announcement, raising concerns about the integrity of structures above the tunnels.

The situation, the company said in its terse announcement, is being closely monitored “and there is no cause for concern regarding the progress of the project nor the safety of citizens and buildings.”