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IN BRIEF

New suspect for Moscow collapse Foundation failure is the most likely cause of February's collapse at a Moscow water park, claims St Petersburg-based geophysicist Adam Glikman.He argues that acid groundwater rising through tectonic fissures in the underlying granite weakened the limestone strata on which the park was founded.Twenty-nine people died in the collapse.

Lake disappears down plughole A 9ha manmade lake in suburban St Louis, Missouri, disappeared down a sinkhole overnight in early June.Days before, the level of Lake Chesterfield had risen following torrential rain.Geologists believe this triggered the leak into the underlying cavernous limestone.

Balfour Beatty in Hong Kong merger Balfour Beatty is to merge its Hong Kong contracting operation with local giant Gammon Construction.The move follows Balfour Beatty's decision to buy a 50% stake in Gammon from Swedish contractor Skanska for HK$510M (£339M).The other 50% is held by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Jardine Matheson.

Soilwashing first for Scotland Carl Bro is carrying out the first soilwashing remediation in Scotland at a gasworks site in Elgin.One of only a handful of such projects undertaken UK-wide, the process removes contamination and reduces the volume of material requiring disposal at landfill by up to 90%.

Russian metro tunnel under way OAO Bamtonnelstroy has begun work on a 564m metro tunnel in Novosibirsk, Russia.The line is between the Marshal Pokrushkin and Berezovaya Roscha stations.It follows the breaking through at Novosibirsk in May of the opposite side of the line using a Lovat RME232SE Series 14700.

Kier lands recycling contract Shanks East London has awarded Kier Construction a £10M contract to build the UK's first biological material recycling and recovery facility in Rainham, Essex.When it opens in June 2005, the facility will help dispose of more than 535,000t of waste annually.

New deputy editor at GE Former Royal Engineer Damon Schünmann has joined Ground Engineering as deputy editor.Schünmann also worked for Brian Colquhoun and Partners (now part of URS), where he was involved in bridge design.

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