Olympic torch relay to mourn lost lives

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New Delhi, May 14 : Attendants and torchbearers of the torch relay in each of the next 98 legs across China will dedicate one minute of silence to the lives lost in the massive earthquake in southwest China, the Beijing Games organizers decided on Tuesday night.

Local organizers in Jiangxi province, where the cites of Ruijin, Jinggangshan and Nanchang are scheduled to carry on the sacred flame from Wednesday, decided Tuesday to cut all festive performances at the launching and closing ceremonies.

Torchbearers may also wear black ribbons and charity boxes will be set up at the starting and finishing points, The China daily reported.

"We are highly concerned with the situation, and we sent our deep condolences to the lives lost in the massive disaster," Li Zhanjun, director of the Olympic media center, told reporters yesterday morning.

"BOCOG is closely watching the situation of the quake and maintaining the process," he said. "If the disaster does not worsen, there is no plan to change any relay route in the following days."

Beijing newspapers quoted Zhang Ming, the director of the BOCOG torch relay center, saying her center will decide whether to launch a contingency plan after investigations of earthquake damages finish.

The torch relay is scheduled to arrive in the jolted Chongqing, where 11 people have died, and Sichuan province, which still suffered aftershocks yesterday, on June 15.

The four-day tour plans to cover seven cities, including Chengdu and Mianyang, in which the Beichuan County lost more than 7,000 lives.

ANI

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