Quang Ninh resident dies in bizarre housing accident
The accident happened when a neighboring three-storied building tilted and fell across a vacant land plot and crashed into his house.
Fifty-year-old Tran Van Suu died on the way to the hospital. Ironically, Suu’s house was also office of the Construction Testing Center of Bach Dang Construction Joint Stock Co., newswire Vnexpress said Tuesday.
Phung Trong Chien, a resident of the house that fell, was quoted by the newswire as saying that excavators and diggers were sent to the plot besides his house in the morning, and his house started to produce cracking sounds at around 7p.m. It fell an hour later when his family was having dinner on the second floor.
The family members climbed to safety into another adjacent house, Chien said. The second and third stories of the construction center were heavily damaged.
It was late found that work on the vacant plot of land was proceeding illegally, laying the foundation for a new house without a construction permit.
Quang Ninh authorities that same night ordered that the fallen house be pulled down to prevent further damage to other houses in the area.
Investigations have been launched to find out the cause of the collapse.
Source: Thanh Nien
In this case, it is apparent that the house that tilted did not rest on piles as it should be. Then when constructors came in to excavate the adjacent lot for a new house foundation, they probably did not shore up the existing houses adjacent to them.
In many ways, Vietnam is a much more libertarian country than most western countries. There is a prevailing attitude that I will look out for my own interests only and my neighbors can look out for their own interests. And much of the government is set up to let private interests do as they please. In the construction industry, the government only gets involved after an incident like this. The government depends upon private industry to police themselves. The government does not inspect construction sites or send out safety inspectors.
The government does issue construction permits based upon schematic designs to check fit with planning criteria, but does not review and approve construction plans.
And the government and the citizens both seem oblivious to safety issues. On a site along Phan Dăng Lưu Street close to Phan Xích Long Street in the Phú Nhuận District, a contractor a year ago demolished a large four-story building. Unfortunately, the contractor did not finish the job, leaving debris all over the site and portions of the old building at the corners, such as this section cantilevering out over the public sidewalk:
or this section on the other corner:
This is carelessness, but more importantly, it is irresponsibility. The contractor didn't care -- he left a mess for the land owner. The land owner doesn't care -- it was the contractor's fault (or perhaps the owner's fault because he didn't pay the contractor?) The government doesn't seem to care. So a public hazard continues to exist.