London Olympics site built on top of heavily contaminated ground, thin plastic sheet

London, Feb 14(ANI): The entire Olympics site in London has reportedly been built on top of a thin plastic sheet laid at a depth of less than three feet to separate the surface soil from potentially heavily contaminated ground below.

According to reports, it has been revealed that London 2012 chiefs have covered up land that is possibly contaminated with asbestos and radioactive materials with a huge and bright orange sheet.

Spanning more than 600 acres it is buried at a depth of 31inches to protect the health and safety of future builders and homeowners. It is designed as a warning marker layer to anyone digging the foundations of new homes and offices that they must follow special precautions if there is a need to excavate more deeply, the Express reports.

While "clean" soil and debris have been placed above the sheet, anything below it has to be considered hazardous unless proved otherwise.

The revelations cast doubt on the Gordon Brown led Government's central justification for staging the 9.3 billion pound Games that they would be handing over a huge urban park fit for human habitation and 10,000 new homes.

Games organisers had set aside a budget of 364 million pounds to remediate what they claimed was one of Europe's most heavily contaminated sites, which had been home for a century to landfill tips and heavy industrial use, including scrap cars and batteries and a mini test nuclear reactor.

The scale of the task, with a fixed deadline of 2012, was one of the major reasons for the resignation in 2006 of Jack Lemley, the former chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Shortly after quitting, Lemley had claimed Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and her team had severely underestimated the problem, saying: "I said it would be enormously expensive because of the technical process of cleaning it up.

"When the London and Continental railway was put through there, as an example, they had to ship off-site several hundred thousand cubic metres of highly contaminated soil. At my final interview for the job, with John Prescott and Tessa Jowell, I said it was going to be one very complex programme to deliver, based on what I had seen on the site," Lemley had said.

"It was terribly contaminated. There were old car bodies and hazardous chemicals leached into the ground. A blind man could see there was a huge environmental problem. I thought it was highly likely they underestimated," he added.

Copyright Asian News International/