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Shanghai to open maritime investigation lab in 2013

By Zhou Ping (Global Times)

09:04, October 29, 2012

China's first laboratory devoted to investigating maritime accidents will open by the end of next year, the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration announced Friday.

Investigators will use the laboratory, which has been under construction since Friday, to analyze the causes of serious accidents that involve the loss of lives and property, including ship collisions, explosions, oil spills and sinkings, the administration stated in a press release.

The laboratory will make investigating maritime accidents faster and more scientific, said Chen Xiaoguang, deputy director of the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration.

"In the past, we had to rely on personal judgments when dealing with a maritime accident," Chen told the Global Times. "It would take us a long time to go to the site of an accident to question the involved parties or to look for evidence from a video of the event. Once the laboratory is built, we will be able to use paint or trace analysis and accident simulation technology, all of which is faster and more objective."

He added that the laboratory will strengthen Shanghai's position as an international shipping center.

The administration is working with Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Maritime University on the laboratory. The universities signed an agreement Friday with the administration to share technology and train researchers.

The laboratory will run out of eight offices, all with a different specialization. The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration will operate the four offices that specialize in paint and trace analysis, electronic evidence analysis, accident simulation, document identification and human factor analysis. Shanghai Jiao Tong University will run the two offices that handle material analysis and ship model testing. Shanghai Maritime University will deal with oil spill detection and analysis, and marine machinery and equipment examination.

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