Home>News Center>China

Illegal deal blamed in Henan deaths
By Wu Gang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-13 22:34

Malpractice and illegal deals between constructor and contractors may have led to the collapse of scaffolding which claimed 21 lives in the central province of Henan on Wednesday,, say local governments.

The accident occurred at around 9 am on Wednesday morning when the 63-metre-tall scaffolding collapsed at the construction site.

Relatives of workers react to news of the accident. [newsphoto]

The construction of a chimney for Xinyi, a subsidiary company of Ancai Group in Anyang, was illegally subcontracted to a constructor with unknown qualifications, said Henan Governor Li Chengyu.

Li has rushed to the hospital and guided the rescue work.

The project was first contracted to the No 7 company of the Provincial Construction Group, but the project was secretly transferred to a Beijing company.

The company allegedly sent migrant workers untrained on highrise work.

"Improper operations at the construction site and the lack of training of the workers caused the tragedy," a spokesman for the municipal government of Anyang told the press Thursday.

The scaffolding fell when more than 30 workers were dismantling the steel framework beside the newly-finished 68-metre-tall chimney.

The scaffolding, used to lift construction materials was fastened to the ground with 16 ropes.

Two ropes on the north side were removed two days before the accident and undermined the stability of the structure, the municipal government spokesman said.

Moreover, continuous rain in the previous two days left the earth around the construction site loose.

The steel frame tilted and pulled out a fastening bolt at the foot, which led to the crash of the entire structure.

"I was entangled in the framework when it began to fall toward the northeast, and I was already on the ground before I could make any response," the Beijing News quoted survivor Zhao Aijun as saying.

Zhao said he and his co-workers, not trained for mid-air working, were told to remove the scaffold or they would not be paid for previous work.

People need special training and a certificate for highrise operations.

The 30-plus workmen were assigned to stand on the scaffold 2.5 metres apart to pass down the removed steel tubes.

Most of the workers on the upper part fell or were crushed to death, while most workers below 10 metres survived.

The 25-year-old Zhao suffered slight back injuries.

Among the 10 hospitalized victims, two were still in critical conditions, while up to five were not in life-threatening condition despite suffering serious injuries in the head, chest and bones, Meng Liya, an official with Anyang People's Hospital told China Daily Thursday afternoon.

Local media said police have taken 14 people into custody. These people include employees from Xinyi, the Beijing construction company and a Zhengzhou-based company.

But Anyang police refused to comment Thursday.

A total of 1,512 people were killed in 1,278 construction site accidents in 2003, up 17.03 per cent and 5.79 per cent respectively on 2002, according to Ministry of Construction statistics.

Of the total, 48 accidents each killed 3-10 people and three accidents each killed more than 10, three less and two more than the figures for 2002 respectively.

However, the country's construction safety situation was generally stable in 2003.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Nation reports fourth monthly trade deficit



CIA says Al-Zarqawi beheaded Berg in Iraq



Major differences exist in six-party talks



Gandhi-led opposition wins India election



Capital acts on low-end housing



Traffic issue causes concern in Beijing


  Foreign workers flocking to Shanghai
  Patent dispute lands in court
  TV commercials targetting children
  Illegal deal blamed in Henan deaths
  Museums key to preserving past
  More students hate schoolwork
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?