Sunday, June 28, 2009

Building collapses in Shanghai

The worker trapped in the toppled apartment building in Shanghai was pulled out dead. --PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG - A 13-STOREY residential building under construction in Shanghai collapsed on Saturday, killing one worker and highlighting the dangers of shoddy building in fast-urbanising China.

The building, in the outskirts of the city, collapsed at around 6am Singapore time, with one construction worker killed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The block of high-rise residential flats was shown toppled onto its side in a muddy construction site, in footage from Hong Kong's Cable Television. Exposed pilings stood in the remains of the building's foundations.

It appeared to be almost complete with fitted windows and a finished, tiled facade. Other similar-looking blocks in the same property development were still standing nearby.

Shoddy construction and the use of sub-standard materials is a concern in China's construction sector as the country scrambles to build out cities and finish massive infrastructure projects to keep pace with fast economic growth.

Construction-related accidents last year included the collapse of a steel arch on a new railway bridge, which killed at least seven and a crane which fell on a kindergarten killing five.

The collapse of dozens of schools during last year's Sichuan earthquake, sometimes when buildings around them withstood the tremor, also led to a wave of public outrage about corrupt officials and construction firms. -- REUTERS

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