Nearly Finished Apartment Building Falls Over In China

Buildings have been known to fall down, but how can an entire apartment building fall over almost intact.
By: Lyn Thomas
July 4, 2009 - PRLog -- A worker was killed on June 27th, around 5.30 a.m. when the 13 storey Lotus Riverside apartment building complex, still under construction and unoccupied at Lianhuanan Road in the Minhang district of Shanghai city literally fell over on its side.  

Initial reports reveal the building fell over when earth was removed from under the building to make way for a garage. The removed earth was dumped nearby in a landfill, causing a 70 meter section of the flood prevention wall in nearby Dianpu River to collapse. Many feel this may have contributed to the collapse of the building.

Most buildings that are in a destructive mode will fall down. However, this one in China literally fell over on its side, in a very unique form of construction failure.  

A nearby nearly completed 13-storey apartment block was given urgent safety checks. Other building sites throughout the Shanghai district have been ordered to be checked as well. Officials warn there will be severe punishment for any who are responsible for the building’s collapse.

There have been nine employees of the real estate developer detained, as well as the contractor and supervisor of the project. The developer’s bank account has been frozen. Home buyers had paid around $2,100 per square metre and were ready to move in. They are now demanding a refund of their money.

In another area of China, a few days earlier, vehicles were plunged into a river when a section of a road bridge caved in. All 16 drivers and passengers from the seven vehicles were brought to safety.

China’s building industry has a history of being plagued with quality problems, from collapsing bridges and highways, to buildings, including a school building. Many times the collapses are linked with corruption, as officials and contractors skimp on construction materials so as to increase their profits. Some building approvals have been issued without proper inspections being performed.

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