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Chinese investigators blame building collapse that killed 54 on illegal, shoddy construction

A Chinese government report says a building collapse that killed 54 people last year was caused by illegal, shoddy construction and local authorities’ failure to meet standards

BEIJING — BEIJING (AP) — The collapse of a nine-story building in central China that killed 54 people last year was caused by illegal, shoddy construction and failure to meet standards by local authorities, according to an official report published on Sunday.

At least nine people, including the building’s owner, are believed to have been arrested following the April 2022 disaster in Changsha, which trapped survivors under rubble for up to five days. Nine people were injured.

The report by investigators appointed by the ruling Communist Party said the collapse of the “self-built” structure was due to “illegal and irregular constructions” and additions by residents, according to state television. He said local authorities were ‘not serious’ about enforcing building rules and ‘shitting away from their responsibilities’.

The report gave no indication of possible punishment for the owner and local officials.

News reports at the time said the building had six floors, but Sunday’s report said more had been added up to a partial ninth level. He said the added weight overwhelmed the poorly constructed structure of the original five-story building.

China has suffered a series of collapses of structures built by owners in violation of safety regulations or due to the unauthorized addition of additional floors. This prompted Chinese leader Xi Jinping to order additional checks to find structural weaknesses.

ABC News

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