Three killed in Shenzhen site collapse

Top News | Staff reporter 9 Jul 2019

Three workers died after the Shenzhen Sports Center collapsed as it was being demolished.

The center in Futian is part of a sports complex which is being reconstructed.

At around 11.40am yesterday, pillars supporting the roof buckled, causing one side of the structure to crash.

At least four workers were trapped underneath as police officers and firemen arrived. At noon, two of the trapped were rescued, while the other two were pulled out by 4pm.

But three of the four victims died after they were sent to hospital, according to the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.

They included a 50-year-old who died an hour after resuscitation. The worker who survived suffered a fractured right thighbone.

Two people who were working outside the building also sustained bone fractures, while another two suffered bruises and tendon injuries.

According to footage sent by the Fire Services Department to media, a team of six firemen dressed in full-body orange protective suits carried an injured worker out on a stretcher.

They moved carefully over obstacles, including giant metallic frames, which are understood to have fallen from the ceiling.

The construction site was reduced to rubble, with large chunks of concrete and metal bars sticking out of the ground.

The cause of the collapse is still being investigated.

The complex consists of four buildings. Construction started in 1985, and the project was seen as one of the eight greatest cultural and sporting facilities back in the 1980s.

The sports center that collapsed was used for basketball and gymnastics. With a total floor area of 30,000 square meters, it opened in 1987 when it hosted a gymnastics competition during the sixth National Games. Renowned gymnasts Li Ning and Chen Cuiting took part in the event.

The complex also has a stadium for football, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Since the facilities were outdated and the city struggled with the inadequate capacity for hosting sporting events, a refurbishment project was announced last year.

It was expected to be completed by June 2020.

The sports center was to be demolished and rebuilt. Upon completion, the number of seats will almost triple from 6,000 to 16,000.

As for the football stadium, the old building will be kept and renovations will take place inside.

Its seating capacity will increase from 32,000 to 45,000, so that it can host international matches.

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