If you want to renovate your house or apartment it’s probably best to pay up and not be cheap — especially if you live in China!
Two people were injured when a three story building in Shanghai’s Songjiang District came crashing down to the ground.
Officials, after conducting an investigation, found that the leaseholder tried to save money by hiring unqualified workers. As a result, the careless workers unwittingly knocked down a load-bearing wall on the first floor, causing the building to collapse.
A 22-year-old mother and her 2-year-old son are both being treated at a local hospital for broken bones after they were pulled from the rubble by police 10 minutes after the building collapsed. They both remain in a stable condition.
A total of six families were living on the third floor, with the lower two floors being used by businesses. All family members and workings were quickly accounted for after the collapse. However, around 400 rescue workers were dispatched to climb through the carnage to ensure no one was trapped.
Guo Haide, one of the workers, told local media that they had begun renovation work on the building, making room for nine shops on the first floor. Adding that none of the workers had any knowledge on which wall was the main load-bearing wall — they were simply told to “knock them down,” saying:
“The designer should know where to knock down walls and where not to. We just do the knocking.”
Guo was the first to realize that they had removed the load-bearing wall, telling the rest of the workers to get the residents out.
“I found cracks on pillars when I came to work, and I knew something was wrong, so I asked other workers to inform the residents upstairs.”
A local resident surnamed Zhang, told Shanghai Daily: “The collapse has made us worry that it could happen to our home, too. Our complex, like the collapsed one, was also built in the 1980s, and they are similar structures.”
Chen Hui, a director of a local construction consulting company’s housing inspection department, said that the building’s first floor had load-bearing brickwork that supported the precast floor slabs.
“Once the load-bearing brickwork was damaged, the precast slabs fell, and caused the collapse.”
Guo Yaxin, the labor contractor, has acknowledged that he could not afford to hire a regular team of workers. Therefore, he organized a temporary team for the work. When asked, he could not say if any of the temporary teams was actually qualified.
“I can’t afford a regular team. When there’s a project, I call them,” he said.
Because the leaseholder believed that the job was “just a small project that should be rather simple,” he declined to hire a professional construction company. The landlord, leaseholder, and workers have all been detained by police, pending further investigations.