Collapse of Xinjia Express Hotel

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Collapse of Xinjia Express Hotel
Part of the COVID-19 pandemic
China Fujian2 location map.svg
Bullseye1.svg
Location of the hotel in Fujian
Date7 March 2020;18 months ago (2020-03-07)
Time19:14 (CST, UTC+8)
Location1688 Nanhuan Road, Licheng District, Quanzhou, Fujian
Coordinates 24°54′58.31″N118°29′59.15″E / 24.9161972°N 118.4997639°E / 24.9161972; 118.4997639 Coordinates: 24°54′58.31″N118°29′59.15″E / 24.9161972°N 118.4997639°E / 24.9161972; 118.4997639
CauseOverloading resulting from illegal construction
Deaths29 [1] [2]
Non-fatal injuries42
Charges57.94 Million Yuan
Survivors42
Victims71

Xinjia Express Hotel (Chinese :欣佳酒店; pinyin :Xīnjiā Jiǔdiàn [3] ) was a hotel in Licheng District, Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. On 7 March 2020, while being used to quarantine COVID-19 patients, it collapsed due to illegal construction, killing 29 people and injuring another 42. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Contents

Background

The 6.5-story Xinjia Hotel began operating in June 2018 and had 80 rooms on the 4th-7th floors. [8] During the COVID-19 outbreak, this hotel was used for quarantining cases of COVID-19. [4] [9]

This particular building had been completed in July 2012, as a 4-story building with a mezzanine above the first floor, with additional floors added between existing floors during May 2016. Level 1 contained a car showroom, the hotel lobby and the supermarket undergoing construction to become a restaurant. Level 2, originally a mezzanine level, contained the offices of the car showroom, level 3 contained the hotel's restaurant and a foot spa, and levels 4,5 and 6 were the hotel guest rooms, each floor containing 22 rooms. Level 7 was used for accommodation of hotel and car showroom workers. The roof contained a 40 sqm office used by the owner of the building, the lift motor room, 4 plastic water containers and one stainless steel water container. [10]

Collapse

At 19:14 on 7 March 2020, the Xinjia Hotel suddenly collapsed. A witness said that he had heard a big bang from the external tempered glass of the hotel. He then witnessed the whole building collapsing within a few seconds. An employee of the hotel stated construction work had been done to the structure's foundation. [8]

Rescue

About 70 people were trapped in the collapsed hotel. [4] [8] After the collapse, Fujian Fire Brigade sent 26 fire engines and 147 firefighters to rescue the victims. 32 victims had been rescued by 21:50 that day. At 22:14, Putian Fire Brigade arrived at the hotel. [11] At least 47 victims had been rescued by 8 March 2020. [12] On 12 March 2020, all the 71 victims, including 29 dead bodies, were rescued. [1] [2]

Investigation

The police started an investigation concerning Mr. Yang, the proprietor of the hotel. [13]

On 10 March 2020, Shang Yong, the vice-minister of the Ministry of Emergency Management of People's Republic of China, stated that this incident was relevant to the responsibility for safety in production, and he also stated that the incident would be investigated entirely and legal responsibilities would be pursued. [14]

On 12 March 2020, the State Council of the People's Republic of China announced establishing a team to investigate the collapse, and appointed Fu Jianhua as the team leader. [15] [16]

The results of the investigation, published in July 2020, revealed that the owners had in May 2016 had added floors within the building, adding a total of 2 extra floors, which raised the load on the building slightly past its limit at 52100 kN, 100 kN over the design limit. When converting a ground floor supermarket to a restaurant on 10 January 2020, 3 supporting columns were found to be seriously deformed, though due to the Chinese New Year, work had not yet commenced until 1 March, where 3 more columns were discovered to be deformed. The repair works commenced on 5 March, with works done on 5 columns leading up to the collapse, with one column yet to have been repaired. However, the investigation reveals that the welds were not close enough to the next floor, leaving too large gaps between the welds, resulting in the welds providing no additional support, and is concluded to have worsened the deformation of the columns, resulting in the collapse. [10]

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