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Six jailed over toppled building

SIX people were jailed for between three and five years today for their roles in the collapse of an apartment building at Lotus Riverside in Shanghai's Minhang District last year.

Minhang District People's Court sentenced them for causing a serious accident which killed a worker and leaded to direct economic losses that prosecutors put at 19.46 million yuan (US$2.85 million).

The tower topped in June 2009 before owners were due to move in. Project manager Qin Yonglin was jailed for five years. He was hired despite an expired license by the developer Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Development Co Ltd.

Lawyer Zhang Yaojie was also jailed for five years. He was the legal representative for Shanghai Zhongxin Construction Co Ltd, which built the Lotus Riverside complex.

Zhang's brother Zhang Yaoxiong, who was hired to dig underground garages even though he hadn't obtained the necessary licenses, was sentenced to four years in prison.

The project supervisor, a chief engineer of Shanghai Guangqi Construction Supervision Co Ltd, received a three-year term.

Two Zhongxin employees were jailed for three and four years respectively.

The two major suspects in the case will be tried separately. They are Que Jingde, former assisting director of Meilong Town and a partner in the Lotus Riverside developer Meidu Real Estate Development Co Ltd, and Zhang Zhiqin, Meidu's legal representative.


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