Right around the time that the World Health Organization declared coronavirus to be a worldwide pandemic, many people in the United States looked to China quite a bit to get an idea of what to expect next. After all, their numbers were “three months ahead of us” (well, give or take) so if something in relation to the virus happened to them in March, we could figure that’s roughly what we would see in June or so.
With that, all eyes were on China when, tragically, a hotel in Quanzhou, Fujian province, collapsed on March 7th. 29 people were killed and 42 were injured.
Built in 2012, renovated in 2016 to give it 3 more stories, and under operation as the Xinjia Express Hotel since 2018, the building was being used as a quarantine facility. Of the 71 people who were trapped in the rubble of the fallen building, 58 of them had been under quarantine. The others included hotel staff and employees of businesses located on the ground floor.
An investigation began almost immediately and was finished a few days ago, As per the final report, it was determined that the 2016 renovation was done illegally; it violated renovation and reinforcement rules.
From China Daily:
The direct cause of the accident was an effort…to change the four-story building into a seven-story one. The change caused the building to reach its maximum carrying capability. Before the accident occurred, the company resorted to welding to reinforce a pillar on the ground floor, which destabilized it and resulted in the building’s collapse, it said.
Both the hotel and the company are controlled by Yang Jinqiang. The report said Yang and his employees “disregarded laws and regulations “regarding urban planning, construction, work safety and administrative approval.
Yang and 22 others have been arrested. Along with them, 49 public officials involved in building development and planning, public security and fire service, as well as the mayor of Quanzhou, have also been identified in having a hand in what eventually culminated in the building’s collapse. They all received, “Party discipline and administrative punishment.”
As per the report, “Local Party committees, governments and relevant government bodies, especially those in Fujian, Quanzhou and Licheng [district], should learn a profound lesson from the painful accident. They must fulfill their responsibilities in preventing and defusing major safety risks, ensuring priority is given to the safety of people’s lives.”
H/T: China Daily
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary