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World News

Nearly completed high-rise collapses in Shanghai

A general view of a toppled 13-storey apartment building that buried one worker in Shanghai June 27, 2009. REUTERS/Aly Song

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A 13-storey residential building under construction in Shanghai collapsed on Saturday, killing one worker and highlighting the dangers of shoddy building in fast-urbanising China.

The building, in the outskirts of the city, collapsed at around 6 a.m. (2200 GMT), with one construction worker killed, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The block of high-rise residential flats was shown toppled onto its side in a muddy construction site, in footage from Hong Kong’s Cable Television. Exposed pilings stood in the remains of the building’s foundations.

It appeared to be almost complete with fitted windows and a finished, tiled facade. Other similar-looking blocks in the same property development were still standing nearby.

Shoddy construction and the use of sub-standard materials is a concern in China’s construction sector as the country scrambles to build out cities and finish massive infrastructure projects to keep pace with fast economic growth.

Construction-related accidents last year included the collapse of a steel arch on a new railway bridge, which killed at least seven and a crane which fell on a kindergarten killing five.

The collapse of dozens of schools during last year’s Sichuan earthquake, sometimes when buildings around them withstood the tremor, also led to a wave of public outrage about corrupt officials and construction firms.

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