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article imageAussie athletes robbed during fire evacuation at Olympic village

By Karen Graham     Jul 31, 2016 in Sports
Rio De Janeiro - How much more could possibly go wrong for Australia's Olympic athletes? How about adding a robbery while the team was evacuated from their building because of a fire in the basement.
According to Australian news outlet 9News, "at least three laptops and other personal possessions" were found missing after the athletes returned to their quarters following a fire evacuation at the Olympic Village on Friday.
Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred told news reporters on Sunday that several laptop computers and a number of personal items, including team shirts were taken. “We did lose some shirts and a couple of laptops, one on the fifth floor from a cycling official and one in the office downstairs," he said.
Banners of Australia are displayed at the apartments for the Australian Olympic team during the open...
Banners of Australia are displayed at the apartments for the Australian Olympic team during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, on July 24, 2016
Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP/File
The Olympic Village is a "no-smoking" venue. The fire was started in a rubbish bin in the basement car park. It appears a cigarette was tossed by a worker into the rubbish bin, sparking the fire.
About 100 team members evacuated the building for about 30 minutes on Friday, and this is when the robberies occurred. But the robberies weren't the real zinger in the whole incident. The building's fire alarms had been turned off.
The only thing that alerted the Australian team to a fire was the smoke filling the hallways and stairwells of the building. Members went door to door, knocking and warning people to get out of the building. Veteran shooter Warren Potent said later he slept through the scare, not hearing the knocking or phone calls.
“Obviously, that is completely unacceptable that a) the fire alarm was disabled and b) that if it had to be, that we weren’t warned about that,” Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller told reporters on Saturday.
Bleacher Report is saying workers turned off the fire alarm system in the Australian building while they were working on maintenance of a building next door. It is not known at this time why it was necessary to turn off the fire alarms in the Australian building. Nor only that, but no one from the Aussie team was notified, leaving the question: Was this done on purpose?
The Australian Olympics Committee has since installed elected fire wardens and security on each of the 18 floors of the building. This latest incident has raised serious concerns as to whether Brazil is up to hosting the Olympic Games.
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Australia Olympic Team
The Sun's Oliver Harvey even went so far as to describe this year's Olympics as the "most shambolic Games ever. But Chiller says, “There was no point in laying blame or saying ‘could have or should have’ at that point last night." In just a few more days, the Olympic Games will begin, but with all that has gone on, will the athletes be at the peak of performance?
More about rio olympics, Sports, australian team, Olympic village, Robbery
 
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