According to state-run media, eleven individuals were killed in a tragic accident that took place in the north-east region of China when the roof of a school gymnasium caved in as it was being used by a girls’ volleyball team. The tragedy was reported by state-run media. Even while witnesses say that a significant number of the fatalities were minors, the authorities have not yet confirmed this information.
In the industrial region of Heilongjiang, where the tragic event took occurred, just eight of the 19 persons who were inside the gymnasium were able to live. An initial inquiry indicated that unlawful usage of perlite, a kind of volcanic glass, was carried out in order to sponge up rainfall on the roof, which eventually contributed to the deadly collapse of the structure.
During the search and rescue operations, distraught parents went to a neighboring hospital in an attempt to get any new information about the condition of their loved ones. While heroic rescue crews combed amid the wreckage in Qiqihar city, the coach of the girls’ volleyball team at the middle school could be heard shouting out the names of her players and pupils.
Building safety laws in China have generated concerns
The rescue effort continued until the early morning hours of Monday, at which point the parents voiced their dissatisfaction and anguish, alleging that there was a lack of effective communication throughout the operation. An impassioned request made by a dad to identify his kid, who was taken to the hospital covered in mud and blood, resonated strongly with a large number of people across various social media platforms.
Because of the tragedy, concerns have been raised regarding the construction safety regulations and enforcement in China, which is a country with a high incidence of building accidents. The lack of proper safety precautions is often cited as the cause of such catastrophes. In June, an explosion at a barbeque restaurant in north-west China claimed the lives of at least 31 people, while in April, a fire at a hospital in Beijing killed 29 people and forced some survivors to resort to leaping out of windows in despair. Both of these incidents occurred in China.
The country is in mourning for the loss of life and is struggling to deal with the aftermath of this sad tragedy. At the same time, authorities are being pushed to reevaluate their safety procedures in order to avoid further catastrophes of this heartbreaking kind in the future.