World

Building collapse in China's southwest kills 4

Three others injured in second accident in Zunyi city, Guizhou province, in one week

15.06.2015
Building collapse in China's southwest kills 4

BEIJING

 Four people have died after a building collapsed in a southwestern Chinese province – the second such accident at a residential structure in Guizhou in a week, according to local media Monday.

The bodies of the victims were recovered by rescue teams during a 15-hour search effort following the collapse in Zunyi city at around 6 a.m. Sunday (2300GMT Saturday), the Shanghai Daily reported.

Of the 20 people believed to reside in the nine-story building in Honghuagang district, three others sustained minor injuries.

An unnamed woman who resided on the sixth story and suffered a head injury told CCTV that she grasped onto a door to prevent herself from falling.

He Chuqin, another occupant, said that before the collapse, her bed had begun swaying and she heard a sound resembling sand dropping. She added that she was stuck in a bedroom’s corner alongside her brother before rescuers found them.

An investigation into the reason behind the collapse is ongoing, with authorities vowing to hold those responsible accountable.

A construction expert at the China Academy of Building Research told the China Daily on Monday that according to available information, “the tragedy might have been caused by the building foundation's subsidence, which could be the direct result of substandard construction work or the selection of a bad building site."  

The source -- who requested to be identified only as Liu – added that such incidents “are not likely to be caused by rains or other outside elements because if the building's quality is up to standard, no matter how heavy the rain is, the foundation will not erode.”

According to the Daily, 26 people have died as a result of five residential buildings collapsing across China since May 20.

In the previous incident in Zunyi, no one was killed when a seven-story building in Huichuan district crumbled Tuesday morning. The China Daily cited the district’s government a saying the accident was due to the structure’s owner having four additional floors built despite a design with only three stories being approved.

A couple residing at the site had seen cracks on their apartment wall Tuesday, and rushed door to door to evacuate their neighbors.

On May 20, a building fell apart in Guizhou province’s capital, killing 16 people. The local government has blamed the incident on a landslide.

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