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December 13, 2009

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Toppled units site work nearing end

BUILDERS said yesterday they will finish by January the foundation-strengthening work on a building next to the 13-floor apartment complex that toppled in Shanghai's Minhang District.

Buyers of 38 apartments in the building yesterday visited the construction site to see the foundation work. It was the first time they had been allowed into the Lotus Riverside complex since the June 27 collapse that killed a worker.

"Hopefully everything will go well in the future," said Yu Wenyi, a buyer who was companied by his wife.

A government-supervised building safety inspection report released on September 25 advised the building - found to have shifted a few centimeters through being near the toppled one - needed strengthening.

The Yus and other two families had a 10-minute visit to the muddy site where workers were adding extra underground support piers.

Appearing confused by construction jargon, Yu and others asked few questions.

The complex was taken over by China Vanke Co Ltd, the country's leading real estate developer, after the original company Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Co, was suspended from business.

Vanke has promised that buyers of the remaining 10 buildings can have their apartment keys before May 31 next year.

An extra 116 piers will be added to the original 112 piers, in the shifted building according to reinforcement plans released in October. A Vanke engineer, surnamed Wang, said all new piers will be in place by December 25.


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