The State Council has called for severe punishments for those
responsible for the Beijing subway accident that killed six people
The body of the sixth victim was recovered on Tuesday, bringing
to a close a six-week search for the bodies of the migrant
The body of Zhou Yongquan, who came from Danling County in
southwest China's Sichuan Province, was found at 5:30 AM on
His nephew Zhou Jie, 18, also died in the subway tunnel collapse
on March 28.
Rescue efforts were halted five days after the accident occurred
due to fears of further cave-ins.
The accident happened at a construction site on the No 10 Subway
Line on Haidian Nanlu Road between the northern third and fourth
ring roads in Haidian District, northwest Beijing.
Compensation for the dead workers' families ranged from 200,000
to 400,000 yuan (U$26,000- to U$52,000), with the poorest being
paid the most.
The No 10 subway line runs east to west, through Zhongguancun
hi-tech zone in the city's northwest and the diplomatic areas in
the east. It will connect to a separate line running directly to
the Olympic Village north of Beijing when completed in 2008.
The accident was the fifth on the No 10 subway line since
construction began in 2005.
In a joint circular issued on Tuesday, the General
Administration of Work Safety and Ministry of Construction
attributed the accident to poor management, as the prime contractor
of the project knew little of the complicated underground situation
and allowed construction to continue when signs of a cave-in were
Investigators say the construction site is prone to cave-ins
because it used to be a pond surrounded by graves and cropland and
was only loosely filled with sand in the 1950s.
China Railway 12th Bureau Group Co initially failed to report
the accident to municipal authorities and mounted its own rescue
In an alleged cover-up attempt, project managers ordered all
workers to stay at the construction site and not to talk to the
media or police. They also confiscated most of the workers' cell
The municipal authorities did not learn of the accident until
almost eight hours after the collapse, when a worker from central
Henan Province called his family, who then
sought help from police in their hometown.
Police detained 10 people in connection with the accident,
including the site supervisor and tunnel designers.
(Xinhua News Agency May 10, 2007)