Authorities investigate gymnasium collapse in NE China’s Heilongjiang that killed 3
Published: Nov 07, 2023 05:55 PM
The accident scene in Jiamusi, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Photo: Xinhua News Agency

The accident scene in Jiamusi, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Photo: Xinhua News Agency

Authorities in Jiamusi, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, have taken immediate action by setting up a response team to conduct a thorough investigation after a gymnasium collapsed on Monday in the region, killing three people, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The accident came just months after a similar incident occurred in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, in which 11 people died in a roof collapse in a middle school gymnasium. These incidents have sparked concern over safety of buildings and the need for comprehensive measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Jiamusi authorities held a safety production work conference on Tuesday afternoon, during which they stressed that the safety and health of the people should be the top priority, while lessons must be learned from the deadly incident. The city will conduct a comprehensive building safety inspection, mainly focusing on school buildings, medical institutions, cultural and tourism facilities, sports and exhibition venues, industrial plants, and other high personnel traffic and business venues, according to the Jiamusi authorities.

Along with Jiamusi, multiple regions in Heilongjiang Province launched emergency safety inspections to learn lessons from the deadly incident and to ensure that buildings comply with safety regulations and standards.

Seven junior high school students from Huanan county in the city of Jiamusi went to play basketball at the Yuecheng fitness club at 6 pm on Monday. At about 7:20 pm, some students noticed that the roof of the gymnasium seemed abnormal and quickly ran toward the door. The roof then collapsed, according to the Xinhua report. Following the incident, three people managed to escape. Out of the three, two were unscathed, while one was sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.

Four individuals were trapped under the collapsed roof, and one of them was rescued at 7:50 pm on Monday and immediately transferred to hospital. Unfortunately, the other three individuals died while receiving treatment. Rescue efforts concluded at 12:35 am on Tuesday, according to Xinhua.

The two hospitalized individuals are not in life threatening condition, according to the report. 

Based on relevant information, the construction of the collapsed building was finished in July 2018, and passed verification testing in July 2020. The building has a construction area of 3,208.96 square meters and a height of 9.05 meters. The collapsed part is a single-story building, which covers about 675 square meters, according to the report.

The venue is mainly used for basketball, table tennis, badminton and other activities, and is open to the public.

Following the incident, authorities immediately set up special working teams for on-site search and rescue, aftermath treatment, accident investigation and medical treatment, and has urgently dispatched personnel to carry out professional rescue and disposal work in the snow.

The Huanan county meteorological observatory released a red warning alert for blizzards, the most severe of the four-tier color-coded weather warning system at 4:47 pm on Monday, urging the public to take necessary precautions. 

Global Times