The ground above the subway construction site caved in, causing the building to tilt at an angle of 2 degrees.
The ground above a subway construction site in Guangzhou caved in on Sunday, tilting a six-storey high residential building.
More than a hundred residents of the tilted building and of two buildings situated in close proximity to it were evacuated.
The accident happened at 10 am when the ground above the subway construction site in Haizhu district caved in, causing the nearby building to tilt at an angle of 2 degrees.
No casualties were reported. The construction of the subway has been temporarily stopped, the Guangzhou Metro Corp said.
The 123 evacuees from the three buildings will be put up in hotels nearby the area until the building is repaired and deemed safe enough, it said.
"If the experts identify the tilted building as dangerous, we will demolish it and build a new one for the residents," Feng Guoguan, a director of the construction site, told China Daily. "If a new building is not possible, we will erect the old one using the latest technologies."
Luo Jinhua, a senior engineer with the Guangzhou geology investigation institute, said more such cave-in accidents were possible this year since a large number of subways are under construction.
Guangzhou's geology is very complicated and fragile, he said. "And the construction of the subways is only adding more pressure on it," he said.
"The best way to avoid such accidents is to first ensure that thorough safety checks are done in the areas before starting construction," he said.
Last year, at least three cave-in accidents occurred near Guangzhou's subway construction sites.
(China Daily January 6, 2009)