At least 11 dead in the collapse of a gym in China

At least 11 people were killed and four others were injured today, Sunday, when the roof of a sports hall at a school in the city collapsed. China Qiqihar, in Heilongjiang Province (northeast). Local media say most of the victims are students who are part of the school’s women’s volleyball team. The girls were training inside the gym when disaster struck.

A photo circulated on social media and published by a Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post It shows a young woman with the usual knee pads for the sport at the moment she is rescued from the rubble by the fire crew. Aerial photographs of the disaster reveal a building with all four walls still standing, but its roof having completely collapsed.

“There was no place to hide,” an eyewitness told the media. china youth daily, Also quoted by SCMP.

The collapse occurred at 2:56 pm on Sunday (local time) when 19 people were in the fence, with an area of ​​about 1,200 square metres. After the collapse, four of them managed to escape by their own means and 15 others were buried under the rubble. As many as 39 fire engines and 159 rescuers were dispatched to the scene. The rescue work was complex and was not completed until 10 am (local time) on Monday, when teams managed to extract the last victim, but without vital signs, according to the tally provided by the official Xinhua news agency. The four wounded are out of danger.

The authorities are already dealing with an initial hypothesis of an accident. Some workers working on the construction of an adjacent educational building had illegally placed a material called perlite on the roof of the wing. under rain effect, the component may absorb water, thus increasing its weight until the cover resistance is overcome. Those responsible for the construction company are currently in police custody while the investigation into the events continues.

Despite the fact that Chinese schools are on vacation, the girls from Qiqihar No. 34 Middle School have been training to go play some games in Hubei Province soon. The school’s official Wechat (Chinese WhatsApp) account uploaded an article on Saturday to celebrate the women’s volleyball team’s second place in the Heilongjiang Provincial Student Competition.

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Qiqihar, located about 1,300 km northeast of Beijing and has a population of just over five million, recorded up to 30 mm of rain throughout Sunday.

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