The government of Andorra is to investigate the subcontracts involved in the work being done to build the Tunnel of Dues Valires, which saw a bridge collapse at the weekend resulting in the death of five workers (article in Catalan, Avui). Seventeen different companies have been subcontracted to take part in the construction work on the tunnel, which is due to open in 2011 in the capital, Andorra La Vella; the government wants to find out whether the incident could be related to the fact that so many different companies had been hired to build the tunnel. The bridge that collapsed on Saturday provided access to the east side of the tunnel, and was an area that had more than 30 people from different companies working in it. As well as the five men who died, six others were injured; all were from Portugal. The bodies of four of the deceased are still waiting to be found because of the difficulties involved in accessing the area where they're located; special equipment was having to be brought from Spain to clear the collapsed bridge, while the recovery work was also hampered by concerns about the stability of the structure and continuing bad weather, with heavy snow falling throughout the weekend. The fifth victim was rescued alive, but died later in hospital from hypothermia and the serious injuries he suffered during the accident.
The bodies of two sisters from Barcelona were found yesterday in the north of Catalunya, after they got caught in wintry weather while on a hiking excursion and froze to death (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The two women, both in their forties and experienced walkers, were walking in a group of five people on Saturday in the area of Queralbs in the county of Ripollès. When a heavy snowstorm caught them by surprise as they were making their way down the Puigmal mountain that they had been climbing, the group got disoriented. They divided into two groups and each contacted the fire services to say that they were lost in the middle of a storm; they were able to stay in phone contact with the rescue services and this helped them be found. However, in the case of the two women, nothing could be done to save them from the hypothermia that had affected them both and they died later in hospital.
For the first time in Spain, wind energy has been used to generate more than half the country’s electricity (article in Castilian, El Periodico). On Sunday, wind energy created 10,170 megawatts of electricity, representing 53 percent of the national demand. The strong winds that blew over the weekend contributed to the high level of wind-generated electricity produced here. Last Thursday saw the previous high in terms of electricity produced through windmills, with some 45 percent of the national level coming from that source. On average so far in 2009, wind energy has been responsible for 13.5 percent of the electricity produced in Spain.
Also in the news: Spanish defence minister says everything possible being done to rescue 36 hostages on boat being held by Somalian pirates (La Vanguardia); Generalitat could save millions of euros in external studies (La Vanguardia); Own-brand products in supermarkets rise in popularity (Avui)