Residential Building Collapses in Harbin

July 26, 2011 4:33 pm Last Updated: July 28, 2011 5:37 am

At about 4 a.m. on July 21, the second to sixth floors of a residential building in Nangang District, Harbin collapsed in seconds. According to Heilongjiang Morning News, the survivors have been evacuated and the numbers of injuries and deaths are currently unknown. The cause of the collapse is unknown, but one of the residents pointed out that there was digging and construction next door.

“It felt like there was an earthquake,” one of the residents said.

Liu Jilian, a resident in apartment three on the sixth floor, was the first one to discover the building was shaking, according to the Heilongjiang Morning News. “It was around 4 a.m. that I heard the building making cracking sounds. The walls began to crack open and pieces of the ceiling started to fall down. It felt like there was going to be an earthquake.” Liu did not have time to put his clothes on. He ran downstairs and yelled to wake up his neighbors. Some of the neighbors downstairs were waken up and got out of the building just in time.

Guo Hongwei, who lived in apartment number one on the third floor, recalled what happened: “It all happened within a matter of a few seconds. We heard someone in the stairway yelling ‘the building is collapsing’ and we stormed downstairs. When we got to the bottom floor, the part of the building was gone and there was dust all over in the air. My legs were shaking and I couldn’t stand still.”

Zhou Xueling lives in the neighborhood and she happened to walk by the building when it collapsed. She said that she almost fell over due to the ground vibration.

Zhang Jun, who lives next to the collapsed building, said that there has been construction going on next to the building. A two-story building was demolished and is now reduced to a deep pit as big as half of a basketball field. He suspected that the digging of the constructions was the cause of the collapse.

Chinese version available at