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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-02-04

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Tragedy in Philippines
  • [02] Promoting Natural Gas Works

  • [01] Elderly and Women Died Tragically Tragedy in Philippines

    04 Feb 2006 10:41:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    A TV game show turned into an unheard-of tragedy at the Ultra stadium in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Tens of thousands of people had camped outside the stadium since last Wednesday in order to participate in the game, which offered the winner a great money prize. The reasons of the tragedy have not been confirmed yet, but according to information, a man from the crowd yelled "bomb," thus creating havoc among the people. The stampede started when people started pushing violently to get in the stadium. The majority of victims, mostly senior citizens and middle-aged women, were crushed to death by the angry crowd in an effort to ensure a seat for the lottery. There is still no precise information on the number of victims, however government sources speak of at least 93 dead and 63 injured, while Red Cross officials spoke of 88 confirmed deaths. Reuters, on the other hand, spoke of 79 dead, citing the vice president of the Government. However, there are fears the final death toll would be much higher.

    Hope Turned Into Hell

    Havoc prevailed right after the scenes of horror. Thousands of people run in panic around the stadium, thus blocking access to ambulances. The injured were taken to hospitals in Manila, while the bodies were removed from the stadium and placed on stretches in the street. They were covered with newspapers, plastic bags and old clothes.

    Philippines President Gloria Arroyo arrived on the site of the tragedy and voiced her grief, asking all government agencies to offer help to the victims. Vice President Noli de Castro also voiced his sorrow and said the tragedy was due to the large number of people that had gathered in the stadium.

    At least 30,000 inhabitants of Manila had lined up to get tickets for popular game show "Wowowee," which offers one million pesos (19,250 dollars) to the winner. That is an entire fortune for more than 40% of the citizens, who live on two dollars a day, or even less. In fact, organizers had double the money prize for yesterday's show, while other prizes included two taxis and two mini-buses.

    Usually, over 5,000 people watch the tapings and organizers at ABS-CBN used the Ultra stadium for the first time.

    "We only want to make these people happy and help the poor," said one of the organizers after the tragedy, underlining however that the show must go one and asking those who wanted to get to the stadium to remain at home. A few hours later, thousands of people kept lining up to enter the stadium. The Police, though, did not allow the game show to go on, until all the people returned home.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Read the story on other sources:

    BBC: Manila stadium stampede kills 88

    CNN: Manila game show stampede kills 73

    Reuters: Philippine stadium stampede kills 73

    [02] By the European Investment Bank Promoting Natural Gas Works

    03 Feb 2006 19:44:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The European Investment Bank and DEPA (Public Gas Corporation) signed two lending contracts rising to 45 million euros to fund both the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline (the part from Komotini to Kipous Evrou) and the upgrading of the liquefied natural gas terminal station in Revythousa.

    This grant is a very important move, considering the European Investment Bank is funding DEPA once more for growth works of strategic nature after 10 years. The last lending contract between the two parties was signed in 1996.

    During the signing ceremony, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas underlined the importance of funding growth works in Greece, while he thanked EIB Vice President Gerlando Genuardi for a fruitful collaboration. Mr Sioufas noted the contract was signed one day after Gazprom president Miller visited Greece. Granting a loan, he said, is a great proof that Europe puts faith in the prospect of Greek Economy.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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