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July 11, 2011

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Boy falls 7 floors as glass gives way

A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy fell from the balcony of his seventh-floor home yesterday morning, after a pane of glass he was leaning against while playing gave way.

He suffered serious injuries and was rushed to Shanghai Children's Hospital.

Residents only moved into the community in Lane 2655, Tongchuan Road in Jiading District last year and have expressed concerns about glass in their balconies.

The boy's father saw the pane fall out and rushed to his son but was unable to prevent him falling down to greenery on the ground.

"I was only several steps away from him, but I was still unable to reach him," said the father, surnamed Jiang.

It was reported that many residents had found the aluminum alloy frame of the glass railing on their balconies had buckled and gel holding the window to the frame had become ineffective.

Police have started an investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile, five cars were damaged after pieces of glass from a broken window fell from a 15-floor apartment yesterday morning.

Resident Ge Qiguo discovered a semicircular window in his balcony was cracked about 9:30 am and said he went immediately to alert security guards.

But a 0.5-square-meter shard of glass fell off as he reached the ground, damaging five parked cars. A hole was gouged in one car's roof.

Residents said there have been 14 similar incidents since the community in Lane 710 on Caoyang Road in Putuo District, after the construction finished in 2004.

The two incidents yesterday have highlighted safety fears about panes of glass in the city's high rises.

Shanghai has between 4,000 and 5,000 buildings with glass-clad walls.

Dozens of cars were damaged in May after pieces of glass from a broken window fell from the 46th floor of the One Lujiazui office tower in the Pudong New Area in May.

Many high-rise developers fail to perform safety checks on their windows because they are not legally required to.

Zhou Heling, a political adviser, has asked the city government to introduce laws that would make it mandatory to test the safety of glass-clad walls and replace aging adhesive and loose window frames.

He warned that the safety of residents is under threat.


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