China’s state media reports, eleven individuals died when the roof of a school gymnasium in north-east China collapsed as a girls’ volleyball team was practicing. Many of the victims were children, according to eyewitnesses, though this has yet to be formally confirmed.
Anxious parents have flocked to a local hospital for updates. Only eight of the 19 persons who were inside the gym in Heilongjiang’s industrial province escaped. According to the BBC, police have detained the owners of a local construction company.
They have been accused of dropping perlite, a type of volcanic glass, on the gym’s roof while working on a neighbouring construction project.The mineral had absorbed rain water after severe downpours, causing the roof to fall about 15:00 local time (07:00 GMT).
As rescue workers scraped through the wreckage in Qiqihar city, the coach of the middle school’s girls’ volleyball team was heard shouting out the students’ names, according to China National Radio.
Parents have slammed school administrators, claiming a lack of effective communication during the rescue effort, which lasted till Monday morning.
“They say my daughter is gone, but we never got to see her.” When the youngsters were taken to the hospital, their faces were all smeared in muck and blood. Please let me identify the youngster, I begged. “What if that wasn’t my child?” one man said in a video that went viral on social media.
“What have they been doing four, five, or even six hours after the children were admitted to the hospital?” … Doctors are not communicating with us regarding the status of the rescue.
“We have elderly people at home; we need to [assist them in becoming mentally prepared].” Doctors, police officers, and other government officials are present. “But we haven’t heard from you,” he continued.
Many people on social media in the country mirrored the father’s worries in the video, questioning how the police and officials at the site treated concerned parents.
“Do people mean nothing to them?” wrote one irate user.
Others questioned why perlite was on the gym’s roof in the first place. “The cost of breaking the law in this country is too low, people don’t respect the law, that’s the main reason,” another person remarked.
In China, industrial accidents are widespread due to lax safety standards and weak enforcement.
Construction accidents are widespread in China, and they have been attributed to weak safety regulations and ineffective enforcement.
An explosion at a BBQ restaurant in northwestern China killed at least 31 people in June. According to preliminary findings, the blast occurred while a restaurant employee was repairing a damaged valve on a liquid petrol tank.
A fire at a Beijing hospital in April killed 29 people and forced some desperate survivors to flee by jumping out the windows.