Going, going ... Chinese ‘tofu’ tower toppled by wind
Centrepiece of property project reduced to pile of broken timber by gale that should have only caused minor damage at most
Winds barely strong enough to rattle roof tiles have brought down a 23-storey tower in southwestern China, raising questions about the safety of the overall project.
The tower, a feature of a property project under construction in Kaili, Guizhou province, came down on Thursday during 75-88km/h (46-55mph) gales, winds the city’s weather bureau said should cause only “slight structural damage, Guiyang Evening News reported on Saturday.
The collapse was caught on video, showing the structure lean and pillars snap at ground level before the whole building tips over.
No one was hurt, but the tower was reduced piles of broken timber and bricks, the report said.
National building standards require big structures to be able to withstand extreme conditions such as storms and typhoons.
The city government said the tower had still been under construction so there was no need for an investigation into safety standards.
“We are inspecting the site. The priority is to come up with a plan to restore the building,” an official was quoted as saying.
But many of the thousands of internet users commenting on portal Sina.com.cn were not convinced.
“The wind couldn’t even bend the trees nearby,” one user wrote.
“This is another building made of ‘tofu’,” another said, referring to poorly built structures.