41 officials punished for restaurant collapse in China’s Shanxi, killing 29
Published: Aug 16, 2021 09:09 PM
Photo taken on Aug. 29, 2020 shows the rescue site of the collapsed restaurant in Xiangfen County of Linfen City, north China's Shanxi Province.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on August 29, 2020 shows the rescue site of the collapsed restaurant in Xiangfen county of Linfen, North China's Shanxi Province. Photo: Xinhua

A total of 41 officials were punished in North China's Shanxi Province after a restaurant collapsed in Linfen, killing 29 people and injuring another 28, leading to economic losses of up to 11.64 million yuan ($1.8 million), local authorities announced on Monday.

After investigation, the incident was found to have been caused by illegal construction, the authorities said. With non-professional design and non-qualified construction, the building was rebuilt and expanded many times, resulting in serious quality defects.

The police had enforced criminal compulsory measures and fines toward the restaurant operators, ordered them to return the illegally-occupied land, and required them to demolish the illegal buildings within a certain time.

The local authority said the related departments in Linfen and Xiangfen county didn't perform well in safety supervision and stop the illegal constructions in a timely matter.

The two-story building collapsed on August 29, 2020, while people were celebrating a birthday party inside. Many people from nearby villages came to help pull victims from the wreckage after the incident happened. 

The tragedy has also received attention from China's State Council, who vowed to supervise the investigation into the accident and called for safety in production and development to make sure such accidents will never happen again.