In China, five children died after being crushed by a wall at their elementary school. The accident happened at the Jingsa Elementary School in southeastern Fujian Province. It’s the latest incident involving questionable construction of Chinese schools.
Last Thursday at around 11:00 a.m. the top section of a wall suddenly collapsed at the Jingsa Elementary School in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China. The wall fell on seven students. Five of the students died and two escaped with critical injuries.
[Resident, Fuzhou, Fujian Province]: (male, Chinese, first soundbite in footage)
“Yesterday some children were posting up newsletters on the notice board, the wall behind the board collapsed. Four died instantly, another one died on the way to the hospital.”
A teacher at the school told local media that the wall was originally a divider between the school and the teacher’s dormitory. In 2000, the school increased the height of the wall and turned it into a place for notice boards. That newly-added wall was the section that collapsed on Thursday.
Soon after the incident, the school was in lock down with military and police standing guard outside. That evening, earthmovers went inside and cleared out the rubble.
Fuzhou authorities say they are now investigating the cause of the collapse, and suspended the Jingsa Elementary School principal.
The construction quality of schools across China has been a cause of concern for parents. The problem was highlighted after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Thousands of students died during the quake when entire school buildings collapsed. Subsequent investigations found that widespread substandard construction and the use of inadequate building materials contributed to the school collapsing.