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Six face trial over building collapse

SIX people responsible for the building collapse of the Lotus Riverside community in Minhang District went on trial today charged with causing a serious accident.

The two major suspects, Que Jingde, former assisting township director of Meilong Town and a partner of Meidu Real Estate Development Co Ltd, developer of the community, and Zhang Zhiqin, Meidu's legal representative, didn't appear in the hearing at Minhang District People's Court.

They will be dealt with in a separate case to be heard by Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. Usually, those who face a sentence of at least 15 years' jail are tried by a superior court.

Prosecutors said the collapse last June caused the death of a worker and direct economic loss of 19.46 million yuan (US$2.85 million).

The defendants all pleaded guilty at the hearing yesterday. Their confessions showed there were many loopholes in the construction management and some builders didn't have any qualifications.


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