INTERNATIONAL

10 people are killed and 1 is trapped as a school gym collapses in China

According to official media, a school gym’s roof collapsed in northeastern China on Monday, killing ten people and trapping one more. Just before 3 o’clock (0700 GMT) on Sunday, the gym of the No. 34 Middle School in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province, fell, according to the official news agency Xinhua.

14 individuals have been extricated as of 5:30 a.m. Monday, according to state broadcaster CCTV, “six of whom died after treatment failed and four were pulled out without vital signs.”

CCTV footage showed the gym’s whole roof collapsing upon it and rescue personnel sifting through the rubble. “A search and rescue operation involving nearly 160 firefighters and 39 fire trucks has been launched,” CCTV said.

According to Xinhua, a preliminary inquiry of the fall discovered that perlite, a kind of volcanic glass, had been put on the roof by construction workers. The roof eventually collapsed as a result of the perlite expanding due to heavy rain, it continued.

“Those in charge of the construction company have been taken into police custody,” the state news agency said.

Due to low safety regulations and ineffective enforcement, industrial accidents are frequent in China. One of the biggest of these mishaps occurred in Tianjin in 2015 when a massive explosion at a chemical warehouse left at least 165 people dead.

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