Beneath the Law: Two-Faced Official Causes Sinkhole in Beijing

The collapsing area was fenced by barriers. (Image: 163.com)
The collapsing area was fenced by barriers. (Image: 163.com)

It sounds like a nightmare: One minute you’re walking on flat ground, and the next a huge hole appears by your feet, and you nearly get sucked into it.

But this happened in real life at the Desheng Gate Avenue in Beijing.

Two large-scale land collapses occurred there early on Jan. 24, creating such a big hole that traffic had to be diverted elsewhere.

15 houses surrounding the hole were damaged in the collapse, and 27 residents were forced to leave their homes.

A worker was investigating the collapsed building on the spot. (Image: Xinhua.net)

A worker investigating the collapsed building. (Image: Weibo.com)

An investigation revealed that this collapse was not caused by a natural disaster, but rather by human error.

A 60-foot-deep basement was being built under a Siheyuan (court yard), and this is what created the sinkhole. However, constructing a basement under a Siheyuan is illegal according to Chinese law.

Workers were clearing the wreckage. (Image: Cnr.cn)

Workers clearing the wreckage. (Image: Cnr.cn)

It turns out that the owner of the Siheyuan was Li Baojun, a lawmaker who is a member of National People’s Congress in Xuzhou City.

Ironically, at Xuzhou’s Fifth Congress in January, Li Baojun helped to put through a new proposal called: “The recognition and disposition procedure of illegal construction.”

The meeting started on Jan. 20, and ended three days later. So Li was busy constructing an illegal 3-story basement under his property in Beijing, while supposedly trying to prevent such projects from happening!

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