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Dangerous shipping excluded

THE transport of dangerous freight will be restricted on the Huangpu River during the Shanghai World Expo next year to prevent accidents, the local maritime authorities said yesterday.

The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration said yesterday that shipping traffic on the Huangpu River would follow special rules during the six months of the Expo, when more than 100,000 visitors are expected to cross the river by ferry every day.

Maritime officials said they had compiled a draft package of special shipping rules for the Expo and were currently seeking opinions from other water traffic departments and shipping operators to ensure it is effective and feasible.

"Our principle is to try our best to avoid causing extra costs to shipping operators affected by the special traffic mode," said Xu Guoyi, the administration director.

Officials said freighters carrying fuel products will be restricted to between 5am and 8am every day. Currently, they are allowed on the river during daytime.

The transport authority will have 35 ferry boats, each with a capacity of 500 people, running between the Expo zones on both sides of the river. The ferries will start operation about 8am.

"We believe limiting traffic hours for fuel carriers to the three hours in early morning is the best solution," said Hong Chong, deputy director of the administration.

Officials said some other dangerous-cargo freighters would be asked to take detours to avoid using the river during the Expo period.

The usual 1,000-plus freighters that pass by every day may drop by about 20 percent during the Expo because of the temporary restrictions, maritime officials said.

The authorities said yesterday that up to 20.86 million tons of dangerous cargo was transported on local rivers during the first six months of this year, an increase of 1.1 percent from a year earlier.

Maritime officials said yesterday that there were 18 shipping accidents on local waters from January to June, down 9.1 percent from the same period last year.


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