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article imageSubway Collapse in Beijing and Accusations of a Cover-Up

By Kyle Pallanik     Mar 30, 2007 in World
The Beijing Times has accused a government owned construction company of trying to cover-up the collapse of a subway tunnel that they have been building for the Olympic games.
The cost of trying to prevent news of the incident from leaking out, for more than eight hours, can now be measured in lives of lost workers.
The newspaper said that the China Railway 12th Bureau Group Co Ltd waited for eight hours before officially reporting the incident, while it conducted it's own rescue operations.
It may have been longer if it wasn't for the secret phone call made by one worker to police in his home town in nearby Henan province. According to he Beijing Times, the construction company of taking away the cell phones of the workers, so that the incident wouldn't go public.
Ten people have been detained, including the supervisor and the designer of the tunnel, while the labour contractor is said to have fled.
China's Xinhua news agency described the Worker's anger as "Palpable", saying that "Signs showing the construction company's logo were defaced at the construction site."
An investigation has begun into the alleged cover-up.
Much of the problem could have been due to the underground conditions which were described as being complicated by Xinhua.
The incident happened in Haidian university district of north-west Beijing. The workers were building a station for a subway line that will connect to the Olympic village.
There have been other cave-ins and several floods along the 25km subway line, workers were killed in a collapse last June.
Judging by the action of China's State Council, who ordered a crackdown on the dishonest reporting of accidents. It seems that there have been false reports and others who have gone into hiding after such incidents.
It's sad that this kind of corruption is costing lives. Accidents happen, but safety should always be in the forefront. Perhaps under the pressure of getting everything completed in time, they are cutting corners to get the work done.
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