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Wind rips open Beijing's terminal roof

By Xin Dingding  (China Daily)

09:19, November 24, 2011

BEIJING - The building of the third terminal (T3) at the Beijing Capital International Airport had part of its roof ripped open by a strong wind on Tuesday night, the second time in a year, leading to increasing doubts on the landmark building's resilience.

Passengers at the airport's third terminal said that they saw white and yellow foam composites flying outside the building windows at around 8:30 pm on Tuesday.

"Though I stood pretty far away, I could see a part of the roof was torn open The white foam composite was everywhere, even on the runway," said a passenger surnamed Li.

Designed by British architect Norman Foster (known for working on projects such as the Millennium Bridge in London) and Beijing Architectural Design and Research Institute, T3 was opened in 2008 - the biggest standalone terminal building in the world then.

The airport confirmed the news, saying the strong wind, moving at a speed of 24 meters a second, lifted some of the metal plates on the roof of the terminal's D section at 8:15 pm.

But the damage has not interfered with flight schedules by Wednesday noon when workers finished fixing the roof, the airport said through its official micro blog at Weibo.com, the Chinese version of Twitter.

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