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Shanghai homeowners compensated
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Owners of apartments in a collapsed residential building in Shanghai won an important victory over the weekend in their battle for compensation with 11 of them choosing new abodes in the residential complex.

The building - one of 11 in the Lotus Riverside residential complex in Shanghai's suburban Minhang district - collapsed on June 27, killing a migrant worker from Anhui province who attempted to retrieve his tools. Nearly 500 of the building's 620 apartments had been sold at an average price of 14,300 yuan (US$2,100) per sq m.

An investigation said mud piled at one side of the building and the digging of an underground car park on the other worked together to pull down the building.

In July, the property developer, Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Company, offered several compensation deals to owners of apartments in the toppled building.

The total 42 homeowners in the collapsed building can choose to be refunded and compensated with the difference between what they paid and the price on June 27, or choose another apartment in the remaining 10 buildings. But many of them refused to accept the deal, and protested to local government offices.

"On Saturday, 11 homeowners picked other apartments in the remaining 10 buildings of the complex," said Zhang Pengfeng, a lawyer for Minhang district government, who has been coordinating talks between homeowners and the property.

"More homeowners will pick apartments or receive other compensation as the compensation program was just introduced over the weekend," he told China Daily yesterday.

However, safety tests will have to be carried out at the remaining 10 buildings before homeowners can move in to the replacement apartments, Shanghai Morning Post quoted an anonymous source of Minhang district government as saying yesterday.

(China Daily September 14, 2009)

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