Legend of the fall

Shanghai Star. 2003-07-10

July 1 - The beginning of the flood season. At 4:00am, water was reported to be seeping into a section of the underground Metro Line 4 railway tunnel then under construction between Pudong Nanlu and the Nanpu Bridge. At 9:00am, a six-storey building at 847 Zhongshan Nanlu collapsed. A nearby building containing an audio and video market began to lean dangerously. No one was injured. Armed police were rushed to the area and began flood prevention work on a damaged section of the river bank's flood wall.

July 2 - Ground subsidence and high tide on the Huangpu River caused a 30-metre-long breach in the flood wall. The building leaning dangerously was demolished. Public transport authorities re-routed more than 10 bus routes away from the area.

July 3 - The breach in the flood wall enlarged to 60 metres. Armed police filled the breach with sand bags but at 1:50pm, a section of the flood wall's foundations began to collapse. River water rushed into the breach through a two-metre-wide crack. The wall of sand bags was also damaged.

July 4 - Wang Guangtao, the Minister of Construction, and engineering experts inspected the site and the rescue work.

July 5 - Two more buildings - a pumping station and an office block - structurally damaged by ground subsidence were demolished. For safety reasons, the original plan to implode the buildings using explosives was abandoned and wrecking balls and machines were used to dismantle them. The ground under a nearby high-rise building - Linjiang Garden Building - was found to be subsiding and mud and cement were pumped in to save it.

July 6 - The damaged section of the Metro tunnel, nearly 30 metres underground, was sealed off by huge reinforced concrete walls. (Star News)



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