If you are thinking about getting some cheap renovation work done to one of your properties, you might want to read this, on Monday, two people were hurt when a three-story mixed-use building in Shanghai’s Songjiang District came crumbling to the ground.
After investigation, local officials found that the leaseholder had tried to save cash by hiring unqualified workers for a job. They carelessly knocked down a load-bearing wall on the first floor, causing the building to collapse.
10 minutes after the building came tumbling down, a 22-year-old mother and her 2-year-old son were rescued from the rubble by police. They are both being treated at a local hospital for broken bones, but are in stable condition, The Paper reports.
According to Shanghai Daily, six families were living on the third floor of the building, while the lower two floors were occupied by businesses.
Even though all workers and family members were quickly accounted for after the collapse, a team of about 400 rescue workers were sent out on Monday to help sift through the wreckage, until they concluded that no one was trapped underneath.
One of the workers, Guo Haide, said that they were called in on April 2nd to begin renovation work on the building, to make room for nine shops on the first floor. None of the workers knew which of the walls was the main load-bearing wall — they were simply told to “knock them down,” China.org reports.
“The designer should know where to knock down walls and where not to. We just do the knocking,” Guo told local reporters
Guo was the first to realize that his team may have knocked down the wrong wall, telling his workmates to hurry upstairs and tell residents to run away.
“I found cracks on pillars when I came to work, and I knew something was wrong,” he said. “So I asked other workers to inform the residents upstairs.”
The labor contractor, Guo Yaxin, admitted that he couldn’t afford to hire a regular team of workers, so he had organized a temporary team for the work, he could not say if any of them were actually qualified.
Meanwhile, the leaseholder of the building believed that the job was “just a small project that should be rather simple,” and so declined to hire a professional construction company.
The landlord, leaseholder and workers have all been detained by police.
The building’s collapse was caught on surveillance camera. Watch it below (around the 2:40 mark):
[Video via Sina / Images via Ifeng News]