The news on Monday morning was grim coming out of a province in China’s far northwest as reports of a middle school gymnasium roof collapse claimed the lives of 11 people, according to multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press, UPI and Reuters.
As first reported by the AP, the incident occurred on July 23 in the city of Qiqihar, and the last victim was pulled from the wreckage this morning. The official Xinhua News Agency said construction work at the school was the likely cause after workers stored materials on the gym's roof that absorbed rainwater.
ABC News reported that 19 people had been in the gymnasium of the No. 34 Middle School, Xinhua said but gave no details on how many were students. Social media and the Baidu news website carried footage of angry parents complaining about a lack of what had been described as communication from authorities.
Regrettably, construction accidents are regular occurrences in China, with many Western media outlets observing that companies often ignore safety standards; corruption or a lack of diligence by local government agencies has also been often attributed.