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    RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTRODUCE BUILDING SAFETY CERTIFICATION FOR PUBLIC FACILITIES

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 16 (RIA Novosti correspondent Grigory Dubovitsky) - The Russian Emergencies Ministry has proposed introducing building safety certificates for sports and recreation facilities. Such certificates, to be granted upon thorough technical examination of a facility, will help prevent disasters like the one that occurred this past weekend at the Transvaal aqua park, in southern Moscow, said Mikhail Shakhramanyan, Director of the ministry's All-Russian Institute for Civil Defense and Emergency Situations.

    According to Shakhramanyan, it has been a long time since his institute developed a methodology for detecting unsafe structures and devised real time controllers to gauge a building's current technical condition, as well as to evaluate geodesic, geological, and other natural factors that may affect its safety.

    The Transvaal park's collapse, leaving more than 25 people buried under the rubble, may have been prevented if such a safety controller had been installed there, the official pointed out. "At least, many of those inside could have had enough time to leave the building after the alarm went off," he said.

    This tragedy has made all the more obvious the necessity of construction safety certificates for sports and recreation facilities. According to Shakhramanyan, the Emergencies Ministry's proposal on the introduction of such certificates has been welcomed by the Moscow city government.

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