14 people sued and 62 public servants held accountable for collapsed residential building in Changsha
Published: May 21, 2023 08:52 PM Updated: May 21, 2023 08:50 PM
Rescue team on site. Photo: web

Rescue team on site. Photo: web

According to the report of the investigation team of the State Council on Sunday, the fatal collapse of a residential house on April 29, 2022, which resulted in 54 deaths and 9 injuries, was caused by the owner's illegal construction, expansion of properties, and illegal rental operation. The discipline inspection and supervision authority of Central China's Hunan Province strictly pursued and held accountable the 62 public servants suspected of violating discipline and law in the accident.

The serious collapse, which occurred in Wangcheng district, Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province, and caused a direct economic loss of 90,778,600 yuan ($12,954,305), has attracted wide attention.

Appointed by the Central Committee of the Party and the State Council, officials from the departments of Emergency Management, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Education and Health Commission rushed to the scene to guide rescue work, treatment of the injured, and follow-up treatment.

In the face of an extremely complex and dangerous rescue environment, after 158 hours of strenuous rescue efforts, all 10 people with signs of life were rescued, and all the victims were found.

The investigation team identified that the direct cause of the accident is the poor quality of the original construction of the house, which is illegal, with unreasonable structure, poor stability, and low load-bearing capacity. The subsequent illegal expansion of three floors increased the housing load significantly, resulting in the ultimate load-bearing capacity being exceeded. Its pressure damage continued to develop, eventually causing the overall collapse of the house.

Before the accident, in the case of obvious signs of collapse, the house owner refused to take advice to take emergency evacuation measures, which is also an important cause of casualties.

The investigation found that the relevant departments of Hunan Province, Changsha, and other relevant departments did not supervise the issue of illegal construction effectively and did not take daily inspection and rectification seriously, which lead to management chaos of the inspection agencies and loss of control in self-built housing construction.

According to the report, 14 people including the owner of the house involved, the legal representative of Hunan Xiangda Engineering Inspection Co, Ltd, and the residents of the Jinping community, were suspected of serious liability accidents, providing false certification documents, and picking quarrels and provoking troubles.