Shanghai holds 9 linked with building collapse

 Chinese men are seen near the collapsed 13-floor residential building which was under construction in Shanghai, China, Saturday June 27, 2009. China'...

China Building Collapse

Chinese men are seen near the collapsed 13-floor residential building which was under construction in Shanghai, China, Saturday June 27, 2009. China'...

Shanghai authorities are holding nine people in an investigation into the collapse of a nearly finished 13-story apartment building, the government said Monday after the latest in a string of accidents that have plagued the country's construction boom.
The incident Saturday killed one worker and was an embarrassment for Shanghai's leaders as they prepare to showcase the city, one of China's wealthiest and most modern, during the 2010 World Expo.
Elsewhere, one man died after part of a bridge in northeastern China caved in early Monday, sending eight vehicles plunging into the river below.
One of 18 people rescued from the Hulan River in Tieli city died in the hospital, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Li Qingsheng, vice mayor of Tieli in Heilongjiang province.
Tieli's mayor, Zhang Yang, told state-run China Central Television that the bridge _ built in 1973 and repaired in 1997 _ collapsed because of a truck overloaded with construction materials.
China's construction sector has long been plagued with quality problems. Thousands of students died when schools collapsed during last year's earthquake in Sichuan province, raising complaints from parents and others who accused builders of cutting corners to boost profits.
Collapsing bridges, highways and buildings in China have often been linked to endemic corruption, as officials and contractors skimp on construction materials or issue approvals without proper inspections. Such problems are more common in rural areas and inland provinces than in major cities like Shanghai, where controls usually are more rigorously enforced.
Shanghai issued a notice after Saturday's building collapse requiring safety checks at all construction projects in the city, with top officials warning of severe punishment for those responsible for the accident.
Reports on the city government's Web site said nine people _ employed by the real estate developer, the contractor and the supervisor for the project _ had been put "under appropriate control." The Web site also said that the developer's bank account had been frozen after people who had paid for the new apartments demanded their money back.
"The buyers' money is safe," the city's Minhang district said in a statement.
The building at the suburban Lotus Riverside complex toppled over almost intact, killing one worker. Initial investigations found it collapsed after workers dug underneath it to put in an underground garage. Earth removed from under the building and dumped in a nearby landfill also caused the bank of the river near the complex to collapse.
The Lotus Riverside is one of many middle-class apartment complexes in new suburban communities on the city's western outskirts. The building that fell was one of seven identical 13-story buildings facing a river lined by concrete dikes and walkways.
The city's Minhang district said in a statement that the money of people who had bought apartments was "safe." Units in the building had sold for 14,297 yuan (about $2,100) a square yard (meter), it said.
On Monday, backhoes were digging around the collapsed building, which was flat on the ground with the uprooted, muddy foundation posts sticking straight out. Police cordoned off access to the site.
Associated Press researcher Xi Yue in Beijing contributed to this report.

Updated : 2021-03-05 00:08 GMT+08:00