11 killed after school gym roof collapses in China

Published July 25, 2023
Rescuers work at a school gym after the roof of the building collapsed in Qiqihar, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province early on July 24. — AFP
Rescuers work at a school gym after the roof of the building collapsed in Qiqihar, in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province early on July 24. — AFP

BEIJING: Eleven people died after the roof of a school gym collapsed in north-eastern China, state media reported on Monday.

The collapse in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province was caused by construction workers illegally placing perlite — a form of volcanic glass — on the building’s roof, state news agency Xinhua said.

Heavy rain then led the perlite to expand and increase in weight, causing the roof to collapse, it added.

Footage aired by state broadcaster CCTV showed the roof — made of concrete slabs, according to state media — gave way in its entirety.

Rescue workers broke through large chunks of concrete and twisted metal in a bid to reach victims, the footage showed. One worker used a pneumatic jackhammer.

“A total of 11 people died in the accident,” state broadcaster CCTV said.

An in-depth investigation of the accident was in progress, state media has said, with those in charge of the construction company having been placed in police custody.

The gym at the No. 34 Middle School collapsed just before 3pm (0700 GMT) on Sunday, Xinhua said.

Nineteen people were at the gym when the accident took place, local newspaper Heilongjiang Daily said. Four escaped and four others survived after being pulled from the rubble.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Reserved seats
05 Mar, 2024

Reserved seats

THE ECP’s decision to deny the Sunni Ittehad Council — the new home of PTI-affiliated lawmakers who won the Feb ...
Hate in Modi’s India
05 Mar, 2024

Hate in Modi’s India

AFTER a decade of BJP rule, communal forces in India are in the ascendant, making life for the country’s...
Climate realities
05 Mar, 2024

Climate realities

IN an uncharacteristic twist for March — which typically heralds the warmth of spring — several parts of ...
Prime minister’s challenge
Updated 04 Mar, 2024

Prime minister’s challenge

Shehbaz should remember that his govt will be walking a tightrope: policy confusion can quickly snowball into a national disaster.
Close to midnight
04 Mar, 2024

Close to midnight

THE Ukraine war has entered its third year, with no signs of a peaceful resolution. If anything, the principal...
Losing history
04 Mar, 2024

Losing history

WHILE we have history strewn all over, the debate around pro-preservation development is not loud enough. Last week,...