Investigation Launched After Restaurant Collapse Kills 29 in North China
What’s new: The northern province of Shanxi launched an investigation into the collapse of a restaurant building Saturday in rural areas of Linfen city that left 29 dead, seven critically injured and 21 with minor wounds as of Sunday.
The roof of the restaurant’s banquet hall, located in the village of Chenzhuang in Taosi county, abruptly collapsed on Saturday morning, burying villagers who were holding a birthday banquet. Local emergency responders rescued 57 attendees trapped under the debris covering an area of about 100 square meters.
The emergency response team said the building was “self-built” by villagers in about 1982 and had been rebuilt several times since, including an installation of prefabricated panels as its roof, according to a Xinhua News Agency report. Experts who were quoted anonymously by the state-run Xinhua called the incident an accident and said it highlighted concerns over the safety of self-built houses in rural areas.
What’s more: China’s relevant regulations classify accidents — in which the death toll is more than 10 but less than 30 — as “major accidents” (重大事故), the second highest ranking on the accident scale with responsibility falling on the local government. When the death toll reaches 30, then an accident is classified as an “extraordinary serious accident” (特别重大事故) and the central government conducts the investigation.
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