nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=txtlnkusaolp00000051 network-banner-empty mtmhpBanner
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

'Strip the City': Underground danger could bring Paris to collapse

'Strip the City': This Underground Danger Could Bring Paris to Collapse

With 300 stations and over 130 miles of track, Paris boasts the second-busiest metro network in all of Europe ... but it could be in grave danger.

Almost half of the city's 10 million daily commuters will use the crowded metro system. One of the stations at risk is the busiest train station in Europe: Gare du Nord (aka Paris Nord) with 28 main line platforms above ground and 4 metro lines underneath. 282 million commuters travel through Gare du Nord every year, and chances are, they don't know about the dangers beneath their feet.

Below Paris are the city's network of ancient quarries, some of which have been filled in for the safety of the 770,000 people that use Gare du Nord every day (though many have not been). In Paris' 13th district, the crumbling quarries put the metro lines in imminent danger.

Geophysicist John Armitage joins engineers from the Inspection Générale des Carrières to examine an abandoned quarry tunnel. "This doesn't look very safe," Armitage notes. The team is looking for cracks, which are a sign that the tunnel could be giving way. They find an "enormous" 2-meter long crack, for which stabilizing walls have been put in to safeguard the cracked rock from completely crumbling.

Space is tight underneath Paris. Metro tunnels run as close as 3 feet below the pavement and 14 feet above the quarries. Paris depends on the stability of the underground world. The city's iconic buildings above ground and the labyrinth of metro lines below are at risk of collapsing into the quarries. The smallest hairline crack in the quarry roof could trigger an avalanche of rock destroying everything in its path and bringing Paris to a standstill.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
William March 29 2014 at 7:34 PM

So are they looking for the white flag.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
richyalf March 29 2014 at 11:07 AM

The metros run everywhere and were designed so that anyone with a medical emergency could be transported to a station not farther than a few hundred meters from their home.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
still1mdbones richyalf March 29 2014 at 11:24 AM

I doubt it... socialized medicine came long after the metro.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
mikecortinagt March 29 2014 at 7:37 PM

now that is srary...hopefully the pedictions don't come true...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
envoyltd March 29 2014 at 10:31 AM

I think it is time to fix this with a little cement.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sam March 29 2014 at 10:23 AM

When I lived on Paris there was a small cave in and damage to an apartment complex, this started an extensive order to shore up the caves underneath the trains. This has been on going now for over 6 years that I know of, this article is here to frighten anyone that will not investigate further

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
rcalley1 sam March 29 2014 at 10:54 AM

It the HP, they only lie!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
temeculapaul March 29 2014 at 1:59 PM

Those are the cleanest workers I have ever seen!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
sallycolebraem March 29 2014 at 6:16 PM

The best thing in underground experiences was the catacombs and the sewer system. How it all worked was so fascinating.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Debbie March 29 2014 at 3:46 PM

Fill the quarries in with dirt or concrete, that would make it safe from cave ins.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
Tom Debbie March 29 2014 at 4:22 PM

Do you have any idea how much that would cost? The dirt let alone with concrete?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
rhulbert Tom March 29 2014 at 5:55 PM

Probably a ton of franks for sure, but I would think still less than it would cost to rebuild the portion of he city that collapses, and the economic impact of shutting down the worlds biggest transit system, not including the lives lost. Any one remember the failing levys in New Orleans? Even after Katrina I have seen for myself the patch work repair job they did on the Levys due of course to cost. History teaches us some very valuable lessons but only if we learn from them and act accordingly. Its a lot of franks but If I was living, or working above one of these "Cracks" , I cannot think of money better spent.

Flag 0 rate up
tomwa007 March 29 2014 at 2:42 PM

French have been very good in the past to the USA. When being critical of France from WW2 isn't valid when one considers that France's natural resources do not include materials that readily convert to tanks, aircraft and other war machinery. They did what they could.. and well.

I don't see any who are critical of France donating to a fund to crate and return the statue of liberty

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
nyhuguenot tomwa007 March 29 2014 at 7:05 PM

After we tear down the UN building.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
cuddlebaer March 29 2014 at 12:55 PM

The French should use a cement slurry, and fill in the quarries and the tunnels. By using a slurry you can fill those areas you are unable to reach any other way. A slurry would not fill every space, but would fill most. This would prevent the majority of collapse.
If the French engineers do nothing a disaster will occur. This may not be immediately but it will happen! Why wait?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
debnaert cuddlebaer March 29 2014 at 1:53 PM

They are BROKE. Guess these socialists will have to pony up even more of their paychecks.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
Dan debnaert March 29 2014 at 4:28 PM

So they can borrow from the Chinese like we do. Have your children learn Chinese in school.

Flag 0 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners