OPINION / COLUMNISTS
After condo collapse in Miami, will US fix crumbling accountability of officials?
Published: Jun 27, 2021 12:13 PM
Photo released by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue on June 25, 2021 shows first responders rescuing survivors from a partially collapsed residential building in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the United States. (Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/Handout via Xinhua)

Photo released by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue on June 25, 2021 shows first responders rescuing survivors from a partially collapsed residential building in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the United States. (Miami-Dade Fire Rescue/Handout via Xinhua)

The astonishing disaster of the sudden collapse of a 12-story condo building in Miami, Florida is sad. The slow rescue work has also made those concerned about the matter anxious. Rescuers have apparently made heroic efforts, but the large pile of rubble is generally staying intact as of now. The reported casualties are 5 dead and more than 150 missing. The US' rescue capability with emergency situations is much worse than people think.

More than 72 hours have passed since the building collapsed. However, the rescuers have still been unable to go deep under the rubble. There is no outstanding technique or method that can be used urgently to help break the deadlock. Many rescuers are unable to help. This is regrettable. The delay in rescue actually means that hope of survival is running out for those buried in the rubble.

So far, there is no sign that any side is to be held accountable for this accident. The US officials' statement focused on expressing humanitarian sympathy and praise to rescuers. 

Considering that the rescue has not yet ended and the cause of the accident still needs to be investigated, it is reasonable not to pursue accountability now. But judged from previous situation, accountability is also unlikely to be investigated in the future. It is more possible that the incident will be left unsettled in the end.

China has also recently witnessed some emergency incidents. The latest one is a fire in a martial arts gym in Yuanxiang town, Zhecheng county, Central China's Henan Province, Friday morning, that killed 18 people. It's difficult to completely avoid safety accidents, but China in recent years has implemented very strict accountability measures. Secretary of Zhecheng county party committee, the county head, as well as secretary of Yuanxiang town party committee and town head were all removed from their positions after the accident. Sure, China and the US have different national conditions. But China's resolute attitude to hold those who are responsible to account serves as a wake-up call for all regions in China to attach great attention to safety. 

The US seldom holds officials to account. Over 600,000 Americans died from the COVID-19 epidemic, but so far, no officials have been held accountable. By contrast, many officials across China have been dismissed due to negligence in the epidemic fight. I just write the different practices of China and the US objectively, I believe people will make their own value judgments.  

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn  


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