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Contingent plans to ensure venue's operation
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The National Indoor Stadium, one of the main venues of the Beijing Olympic Games, has prepared more than 200 contingent plans for the upcoming games, and in case an emergency occurs, the audience can be evacuated in eight minutes, an official said on Saturday.

Li Guo, who is in charge of the stadium's operation, said though the possibility of such an emergency is trivial, once it happens, the consequence will be very serious. That's why the contingent plan for evacuating the audience is of top priority, he said.

After deliberate planning and repeated drills, now even a full-up stadium of more than 20,000 spectators can be evacuated within eight minutes when an emergency occurs, according to Li.

To make the audience-evacuating contingent plan feasible, Li said a lot of measures have been taken, including the removal of a row of about 500 seats on the fourth floor of the stand to make way for an additional emergency exit.

In addition to the volunteers on duty at the stadium, more than 100 "emergency exit guides" are also assigned to help evacuate the audience in time of emergency, Li said.

The medical team of the stadium even had drills specially for the rescue of the wounded in a stampede, Li said. They studied every details of such circumstances, and even weighed the advantages and disadvantages of using stretchers or carrying on the back in transporting the wounded.

Other contingent plans include those on unexpected black-out and water-leakage in the stadium. Back-up plans are always there for all these situations to ensure a flawless Olympics, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2008)

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