Beijing tower block wall torn off by a gust of wind

Three people injured by falling debris after 20-metre section of wall is peeled away from the rest of the building

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 July, 2018, 3:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 July, 2018, 3:08pm

Part of the outer wall of a tower block in Beijing was torn off the building by a gust of wind and fell to the ground, hitting three people, in an incident captured on video.

Footage of the incident, published by The Beijing News on Saturday, shows a 20-metre (65ft) section of the wall peeling away and crashing to the ground.

Three people were hit by the falling debris and were taken to hospital, the newspaper reported.

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The most seriously injured was a 63-year-old woman, who remains in a coma with head injuries she sustained in Thursday evening’s accident. Two young women who were returning from work at the time suffered leg injuries.

“I was walking past when I finished work … then I first saw small parts of the wall falling off, and then much bigger parts kept falling down,” a witness told The Beijing News.

A local government official told the newspaper that the district had recorded average wind speeds of between 62 and 74km per hour (38-46mph) at the time of the accident.

The newspaper also reported that many witnesses were initially reluctant to come to the aid of the injured as pieces of debris were still falling from the tower block.

The exterior wall and the insulation from at least four stories of the building were blown away, leaving only a thin layer of concrete.

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Pictures published by Beijing Evening News showed piles of debris, much of which appeared to be a foam-like substance.

The building is located in a residential complex near Beijing Capital International Airport.

The block, which has shops and restaurants on its ground floor, and only opened last year.

The ground-floor businesses have been forced to halt operations as the area has been cordoned off for an investigation.