China property

Chinese construction giant Country Garden admits responsibility for death of six

Chinese construction giant expresses sympathy for those killed at site in Anhui and accepts its responsibility for ‘inadequate management’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 August, 2018, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 August, 2018, 6:00pm

One of China’s largest residential developers Country Garden has admitted it has an “unshrinkable responsibility” for the recent construction accident that killed six people.

The Guangdong-based real estate developer said in a company statement on Friday that it felt deeply sorry for the victims and injured workers at the construction site in the eastern province of Anhui.

Six people died and another 10 injured people were taken to the hospital after the site, which included temporary accommodation for workers, collapsed in heavy rain and high winds last week.

6 killed in Country Garden construction site collapse in eastern China

“In view of the recent safety incidents at our construction units, we are deeply saddened and admit that we have unshrinkable responsibility for the inadequate supervision and management,” the company said in a statement.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the victims and their families, heartfelt sympathy to our injured workers and sincere apologies to society,” the company added.

The company also said it would punish the relevant project management team and promised to strengthen safety controls.

The company said it had initiated another round of “safety and quality cross checks” over a 15-day period starting on August 1 to reassess potential risks in all the regions in which it operates.

Two months ago, one person died and nine others were injured when scaffolding collapsed at another Country Garden construction site in Shanghai, according to the state broadcaster CCTV.

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Hong-Kong-listed Country Garden currently has a market capitalisation of HK$252.5 billion (US$32.2bn). It was the biggest developer in mainland China last year by sales contracts – valued at 550.8 billion yuan (US$81.2 billion).

On Friday its share price closed at HK$11.01, a 43 per cent drop from its one-year high of HK$19.16.

“Our net gearing ratios over the past five years were 63.3 per cent, 57 per cent, 60 per cent, 48.7 per cent, and 56.9 per cent, respectively. It is relatively low when benchmarked with the industry, and our capital structure is sound,” Wu Bijun, Country Garden’s CFO said in the statement.