After 74 killed in the construction collapse in China: the reason and the solution

(China’s state-run media People’s Daily reported the accident on twitter)

The collapse of a platform in an unfinished tower of a power plant in East China on Thursday has caused 74 dead, 2 wounded.

The platform was built for a cooling tower of a coal power plant under construction in Jiangxi Province.

China Tower Collapse

(Photo by Li Jinjun)

A team led by Yang Huanning, head of China’s State Administration of Work Safety has been formatted to investigate the accident in Jiangxi.

Gao Shichao, a project department staff from the contractor of the power plant told the media that the accident “may be caused by the strength of concrete which is not standard”.  He explained that to complete the construction before rush deadline, the workers might have removed the scaffold around the tower too early before the concrete was totally drought. As the concrete started to fall off, the platform finally collapsed. Yet his remarks have not been verified.

Such accidents is not unusual in China. According to China Labour Bulletin (CLB), a non-government organization that aims at promoting and defending workers’ right in China, there were 265 accidents happened in China from June to December this year. Yet the government has never come up with a radical measure to improve this situation.

[Infographic] See more details about the 265 work accidents in China from June to December on CLB:

Defining this as ‘extreme major accident’, the Chinese government has gathered a national teleconference and urged safety watchdogs in the country to launch through work safety checking to plug the holes in safety standards on Sunday.

Attendees to the meeting agreed that lessons should be learned from recent accidents, and cited other areas in need of more attention for work safety such as construction sites, coal mines, traffic, dangerous chemicals, fireworks, power and heating supply sectors.

The call was made at a meeting of the State Council, China’s Cabinet. Attendees to the meeting include Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai, State Councilor Guo Shengkun, State Councilor Wang Yong, and local authorities of Jiangxi Province.

The contractor, Hebei Yineng Tower Engineering Co. Ltd. has offered 1.2 million yuan (140 thousand pounds) to each victim’s family. Some have signed the compensation contracts.