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Collapse of building in Cologne reverberates in Amsterdam

DutchAmsterdam.nl — The collapse yesterday of a buiding in the city center of Cologne, Germany, reverberated loudly in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The six-story building collapsed about 2 p.m., ripping open and dragging down parts of two adjacent buildings that contained apartments and an amusement arcade. Two people are still missing.

German authorities haven’t yet determined what brought down the structure, which housed Cologne’s historical archive, but the city is building a new subway line under the buildings that collapsed.

Like Cologne, the city of Amsterdam is in the process of building a new subway line — the North-South Line, which is supposed to run underneath much of the city’s historic center.

Züblin, one of the German contractors working on Cologne’s subway project — the North-South City Line (Nord-Süd Stadtbahn) — is also one of the primary contractors for Amsterdam’s North-South Line.

Together with Dutch contractor Dura Vermeer, Züblin is responsible for the drilling work underneath Amsterdam’s historic center — using new and highly controversial drilling technology.

After yesterday’s building collapse in Cologne work on its new metro line was suspended.

Work on Amsterdam’s subway project was recently virtually halted after Tjeerd Herrema, Alderman for Traffic, Transport and Infrastructure, resigned from his position. Herrema cited multiple delays and ever increasing cost overruns.

Even though actual drilling has not yet been started, prelimenary work has already caused damanage to some historic buildings.

In both Amsterdam and Cologne it is now unclear when — if ever — work on the metro lines will recommence.

Official in both cities are keeping in close touch, hoping to learn from each other’s experiences.

Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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