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Scanning technology to ensure river safety

2009. 16 June

by Dong Zhen
( Sonar scanning technology is to be used to find and remove underwater hazards during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the local maritime authority said yesterday.

Sonar scanning will be especially useful in emergencies such as chemicals falling from tankers into the Huangpu River, Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration officials said.

The World Expo organizer said 20 percent of Expo visitors would use ferries as Expo sites are on both sides of the Huangpu River.

It is estimated that up to 80,000 people a day may use the seven ferry stations near Expo sites, said Zheng Jingyou, a director of the safety administration's Dongjiadu division and the primary safety supervisor of the Expo-site waters, which stretch nearly 7 kilometers along the Huangpu River.

The Dongjiadu maritime authority said it had begun regular emergency response tests to prepare for any eventuality when the Expo begins next May.

A drill was held yesterday to test the sonar scanning technology's ability to spot dangerous obstacles under water.

Frogmen successfully located a container after the sonar scanning system found it a dozen meters below the surface.

It was raised out of the water just one hour after it had been dropped from its ship.