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100 homeless after metro site collapse
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-02 22:39

A metro construction site collapsed on Thursday, leaving at least 100 people from 22 families homeless in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

Guangzhou's Subway Line 3, now under construction, caved in at the Lijiao Station in south China's Guangdong Province April 1, 2004. [newsphoto]

The collapse took place at about 8:10 am in the construction site of Lijiao Station of Guangzhou's Metro Line 3 in the city's Haizhu District.

A high iron frame immediately collapsed after the earth sank in the construction site, according to Liu Guangwu, an official from Guangzhou Metro Corp on Friday.

Many engineering machines were destroyed or damaged , while a residential building tilted, Liu said.

No deaths or injures were reported.

Families living within 30 metres of the construction site were immediately evacuated.

The residents who have been affected by the accident were temporarily housed in nearby inns and hotels.

Local fire protection departments immediately sent six rescue trucks to the site to help with the cleanup.

The collapse was blamed on heavy rainfall in Guangzhou in recent days.

A special task force has been established to help further investigate the case.

Guangzhou Metro Corp on Friday organized an inspection tour on all the metro construction sites in the city to avoid similar incidents and ensure safety on construction site for the city's metro project.

Liu promised the accident would not affect the construction schedule of the city's Metro Line 3 which is still in the works. Metro Line One and Line Two are already operating.

The accident was a reminder of the July 1 cave-in of a subway line being built in Shanghai last year, which caused 150 million yuan (US$18 million) in damages and nearby land and buildings to sink.

Officials from three construction companies were found guilty of improper management and inadequate emergency response measures in the collapse during construction of the cross-river subway tunnel.

They were accused of failing to take remedial action in response to technical problems in the equipment used to build the tunnel.

Flaws in the engineering plan as well as inappropriate on-site management and engineering supervision allegedly contributed to the Shanghai collapse.

In Beijing, where a number of subway lines have been or will be built to improve traffic conditions before the 2008 Olympic Games, has vowed to avoid similar incidents.

"We will strengthen our safety measures in order to prevent major accidents," an official of Beijing Metro Construction Management Co, who wanted to remain anonymous, told China Daily on Friday.

Contractors are required to file regular reports about sinking conditions of buildings, roads and underground equipment above a subway tunnels.

The supervisory authority, as well as an invited third party monitor the construction process so as to prevent accidents, he said.

The company hasput forth detailed operation plans. If the earth humidity of the digging surface is not normal, for example, engineers will drill a small hole up to 5 metres deep to inspect the water conditions.

If remnant water is found, the digging of the tunnel will not continue until the water is completely removed.

Rains in Guangzhou have caused a number of problems in recent days.

More than 1,200 passengers were halted in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport when 12 flights were cancelled and 17 others were delayed due to the rainy and fogy weather on Friday.

The airport had to be temporarily close early Friday morning due to the bad weather.

And early this week, Guangzhou, Foshan, Qingyuan and Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in the Pearl River Delta which borders Hong Kong were seriously struck by hailstone.

In Guangzhou's suburban city of Conghua alone, nine farmers were injured by the hail and 1,550 families became homeless after 2,1385 houses were destroyed or damaged.

The hailstone also destroyed 3,785 mu (252 hectares) of rice fields, 17,000 mu (1,140 hectares) of other crops and many fruit trees in Conghua.

The local meteorological observatory has warned the unstable weather would last until the middle of next week.

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