Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) July 02, 2009 -- 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.
The initial reports say the building fell over when earth was excavated from beneath the building to form a garage. The removed earth was dumped in a nearby landfill, causing a 70 meter section of the flood prevention wall in nearby Dianpu River to collapse. Some feel this may have contributed to the collapse of the building.
The building did not simply break apart and fall down, it 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.
The contractor and supervisor of the project, as well as nine employees of the real estate developer, have been detained. The developer's bank account has been frozen. Home buyers paid around $2,100 per square metre and were ready to move into the fallen building. They are demanding their money be refunded.
Several days earlier, in another area of China, vehicles plunged into a river after part of a road bridge caved in. All 16 drivers and passengers from the seven vehicles were safely rescued.
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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