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November 25, 2014

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Collapse fears at Disney relocation homes

RESIDENTS moved to make way for the Shanghai Disney Resort say their new homes are so shoddily built that they fear they are about to collapse.

Householders say one building in Xinyuan West Community, in Chuansha Town in the Pudong New Area, has subsided so badly that by Saturday it had bumped into the next building, damaging the eaves.

However, the developer of the project insists that the blocks — built two years ago and just 11 centimeters apart to accommodate a road— were always attached and are safe.

Independent experts inspecting the buildings for owner Chuansha Town are due to report back today.

The 120 households in the two 15-story blocks are among 2,300 households relocated from elsewhere in Chuansha Town for the Disney project.

But now residents say they are afraid to live in what they say were called “model Disney relocation homes” and yesterday gathered to demand action from the community residential committee.

They say the eaves on the No. 17 building at Huaxia Road W. have bumped into the eaves of the No. 18 building, which is built on the same foundation.

Residents also say that cracks quickly appeared on the walls after moving in. One crack at the bottom of the No. 17 building is now more than 10 meters long and 3 centimeters wide.

Qin Lijun, who lives on the top floor of the No. 17 building, noticed that the eaves had bumped together on Saturday and warned other residents.

She said she is now terrified that the buildings will collapse. “I haven’t have been to sleep a wink since Saturday,” Qin told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Qin said about six months after she and her husband finished decorating last year, cracks appeared on their walls.

“It must have been subsiding a long time but no one noticed,” she said.

Fellow resident Qiao Qihua, who lives on the ground floor, said the outer wall of his apartment has a crack wide enough to put a shoe into.

“How can we live in such a terrible building,” said Qiao, who helped organize protests to the residential committee.

Qiao said this was the second time that his building had appeared on local media. In 2012, it was praised as a “model Disney relocation home.”

But developer Xintuan Real Estate insisted that there no safety concerns with the blocks and that eaves being connected was part of the design.

They were always attached but appeared to have squeezed a little following some slight subsidence, Chen Tong, head of Xintuan Real Estate the engineering department told Shanghai Daily.

“Only some decorative parts on the eaves were broken and residents can live in the blocks without any worries at all,” said Chen.

Chen showed a blueprint to Shanghai Daily where the eaves appear attached and claimed that the subsequent incline was within a safe range.

“The quality of the building is quite reliable,” he said, though admitting that the construction company had failed to take the subsidence into consideration.

After building the block his company sold it to Chuansha Town government.

The town government invited experts from Tongji University and other specialists to inspect the buildings and expects a report today, said Sun Yonggen, deputy governor of Chuansha Town.

Shanghai Disneyland is scheduled to open by the end of next year, as part of the Shanghai Disney Resort.


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