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Why Buildings Crumbled

The Globe and Mail suggests that corruption explains why ‘tofu buildings’ crumbled in China:

“One man, gazing at the corpse of his nine-year-old cousin, said he had disturbing evidence that could explain the collapse of the five-storey Juyuan school building, along with eight other schools in the region. The man, who gave his surname as Ren, is a 32-year-old steel worker who has worked for a decade in the local construction industry. He said he always knew that the Juyuan school was a disaster in waiting. Local officials…had pocketed money that was budgeted for the school, while a private construction company had saved money by cutting corners on the project.”

Call it corner cutting, or what you will, the phenomenon is a familiar one:

“To boost its profits, the company used iron instead of steel in many parts of the construction of the building… It cut back on the size and number of steel braces in the cement foundation slabs. And it used cheap materials to make the concrete walls, weakening the entire structure.”

Interesting article.

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