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Officials held accountable for gymnasium collapse in Heilongjiang province

By Zhou Huiying in Harbin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-21 15:51

A total of 51 people, including 33 government officials, have been held accountable for an accident involving a gymnasium collapse in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province in July last year, according to an investigation statement released recently by the provincial department of emergency management.

The report indicated that the accident was directly caused by illegal and unauthorized construction and renovation.

The improper stacking of perlite, an insulation material, which led to rainwater retention, resulted in a significant increase in the roof load of the gymnasium and exceeded the carrying capacity, causing an instant collapse.

The accident, which occurred at the 34th Middle School on July 23, 2023, caused 11 people dead and seven injured and led to a direct economic loss of 12.541 million yuan ($1.745 million), the report said.

The gymnasium was built in 1997, with an area of around 1,200 square meters.

The report also listed the remote causes - the construction unit and supervisory unit failed to fulfill their primary responsibility for quality and safety production as well as the industry regulatory department did not adequately fulfill its regulatory responsibilities.

Among the 51 people, six have been subjected to compulsory measures by judicial authorities and five have been transferred to judicial authorities for handling. The 33 government officials have been given different disciplinary actions, including serious warnings within the Party, dismissal from government positions, and downgrading of professional and technical ranks.

Additionally, seven have been handed administrative penalties, such as fines and revocation of their safety production qualification certificates.

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