July 7, 2009
Soil conditions investigated as cause of Shanghai apartment building collapse
A nearly finished 13-story apartment building in Shanghai toppled over because of piles of dirt that were excavated to build an underground parking garage, according to initial investigation results, experts say.
City officials vowed to pursue responsibility for the June 27 disaster, which killed one person and cast doubt on the safety of the scores of other projects under way in this city of 20 million. But they admit they were perplexed over how the building could have toppled over almost intact.
“When we arrived on the scene, we were very shook up. In my 46 years of work, I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing,” said Jiang Huancheng, a prominent local engineer and professor at Shanghai’s Tongji University.
The accident was an embarrassment for Shanghai, a showcase city of 20 million in the midst of a construction boom as it prepares to host the 2010 World Expo.
Jiang and other officials told reporters their study showed the suburban building’s design and construction conformed with safety regulations and that more analysis is needed to pinpoint the reason why it fell over almost intact.
There are differing opinions among the experts, but the main conclusion is that the cause is a tall pile of dirt next to the building, they said.
“It’s clear that if there had been no pile of dirt, there would have been no problem,” said Fan Qingguo, an engineer with state-run Shanghai Construction Group.
Other experts explained that dirt excavated for the garage may have compacted the soil, causing it to shift and damage the building’s foundations so that it fell over. Heavy rains and cracks in a flood wall for a nearby river also suggest problems with the soil on the site, they said.
Unusually aggressive reports by the state-controlled media have centred on possible collusion between the property developer, the contractor and others supervising the work. Earlier this week, the government said nine people were “under supervision” in connection with the investigation.
Officials in Shanghai’s Minhang district, the location of the “Lotus Riverside” apartment compound where the building fell, will release results of their investigation into responsibility for the disaster later, said city government spokesman Chen Qiwei.
“We absolutely must give society and the people a clear answer,” said Xie Liming, head of Shanghai’s Work Safety Administration.
DCN News Services
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 479 projects with a total value of $1,224,678,004 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Wednesday.
$31,000,000 Richmond Hill ON Negotiated
$30,000,000 Brampton ON Tenders
$30,000,000 Mississauga ON Negotiated
- Having a blast on the job — demo with finesse
- Does a roadmap to a sustainable future exist?
- Work complete on South Kent Wind project
- Draft standard for snow loads on buildings in northern Canada open for feedback
- Community murals brighten up construction hoarding on TTC projects
- Protecting endangered species a focus on Highway 15 work
- Intricate demolition saves venerable newspaper building façade
- London Roundhouse project takes selective demolition to high art
- London hospital tear down not your average demo
- Strategic demolition repurposes Bowater Mersey paper plant
- Barn razing: demolition of Charlottetown racehorse stables
- Incarceration gives way to innovation at Bridgepoint
- Breaking good: National Demolition Association updates safety manual
- Droppings responsible for respiratory illness at Quebec demolition site
- Innovative storm water solution under Denison Road
- Journal of Commerce Preview for the week of April 28th, 2014
- Merit Contractors Association president announces retirement
- Truss Lift
- B.C. government reverses sweet gas deregulation
- CCA looking to engage Aboriginal communities with new taskforce
- Pembina Pipelines building regional headquarters in Alberta
- Biomaterials growing on construction
- Manitoba town is a design showcase
- Saskatchewan wind project moves forward
- Suncor worker death investigated
- Olympic builders return to the job