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Collapsed building - warnings unheeded

SUPERVISORS of the building that collapsed in Minhang District said they had warned the builders of the danger situation but were ignored.

The site supervisor, Shanghai Guangqi Construction Supervision Co, said it had repeatedly advised the builder of the Lotus Riverside to remove excavated earth that had been dumped on the construction site.

But the builder, Shanghai Zhong Xin Construction Co, ignored the warnings, Guangqi officials told the China Youth Daily.

The 13-floor building, which was under construction, collapsed, killing one person on June 27.

According to officials at Guangqi the builder could have saved up to seven million yuan (US$1.02 million) by keeping the excavated earth inside the construction site. It could then be used on green belts in the residential compound and there would have been no cost for transportation.

The earth excavated from an unfinished garage beneath the collapsed building was piled up to nine meters high.

The dumped earth and the empty space under the structure combined to upset the foundations of the building, and caused the collapse, Wu Hang, an assistant in the investigative team set up by the city government, said in previous reports.

The Government had assigned Guangqi to oversee the Lotus Riverside project and the supervisor was supposed to report to the government if there was anything wrong during the construction.

Guangqi argued that keeping excavated earth on a construction site is a common way of cutting costs and is not banned by law, so they could do nothing but advise the builder.

The China Youth Daily report said the residential complex "Lotus Riverside" was given several awards for quality and energy saving.

The building toppled over but remained almost intact with some of the windows unbroken, a sign, the supervisor insisted, that the structure of the building was solid enough to prevent the windows from being smashed.


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