Millennium countdown: Manic fans in stadium danger

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The Independent Online
ANGRY Welsh rockers the Manic Street Preachers could bring the house down - literally - on millennium eve, writes Nicholas Pyke. Safety experts fear that 72,000 fans jumping up and down at the same time on the cantilevered stands of Cardiff's pounds 126m Millennium Stadium could cause part of it to collapse.

Building magazine, the voice of the construction industry, reports serious concern on the part of Cardiff ctiy council - responsible for allowing the gig to proceed in the first place. Crowds jumping up and down on cantilevered stands cause a "ripple effect" placing the structure under far more stress than a "static" sports audience.

This week the council refused to comment on the threat beyond admitting: "Safety issues are being discussed with the Millennium Stadium plc."

Geraint Evans, operations and safety manager at the Millennium Stadium, said: "It's not a good idea to have people jumping up and down on a structure. Roman armies marching across a bridge used to break their step because if you march in time and hit the middle frequency of a structure, you can cause damage." But an official stadium spokesman said: "There's no danger. It's only a comfort factor."

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