Construction standards throughout China have been thrown into question yet again following an accident in which an elevator came crashing down on a building site in central China’s Hubei Province, killing 19 people.
The latest incident, according to reports on the Chinese news website Xinhua.net.com, occurred in the provincial capital of Wuhan last Thursday at 1:26 pm local time.
The elevator plummeted from the 30th floor of an apartment building that was under construction. Everyone inside was killed, most of the victims being construction workers.
The report says an investigation into the cause of the accident is underway and that five people from four companies responsible for the construction and supervision of the project as well as the installation of the elevator have been detained.
The elevator collapse is just the latest incident in which practices regarding safety in the Chinese building and construction industry have been called into question.
Earlier this month, poor construction was blamed for worsening the impact of two earthquakes and a spate of aftershocks which killed 80 people in the south west of the country.
These incidents follow the collapse earlier this year of a 300-metre section of rail on the 291-kilometre Hayyi High-speed Railway in March and the trapping of hundreds of construction workers in a tunnel in the country’s northeast last month after the tunnel became flooded by torrential rain brought about by Typhoon Damrey.
The latest incident also highlights the potential dangers associated with elevators. While elevator safety standards are considered to be relatively good across most of the developed world, it is still estimated that in the United States, around 30 deaths and 17,000 injuries occur in and around lifts each year.