How Bad Can Chinese Construction Get? Well, This Bad!

toppled building shanghai

Chinese are infamous for bad construction quality. Several buildings have collapsed during the past couple of years. But have you ever heard of a building toppling over? Well, A building toppled over in Shanghai in 2009. The building was new and still under construction so, luckily, no one was injured, but there was still one fatality. Considering the large scale destruction, the loss is very minimal but still sorrowful. It was reported that a problem with some nearby flood prevention walls at the Dianpu River cause the building to fall over, but there is no hard evidence to support the claim as of yet. This is an example of sheer negligence by engineers and construction staff at the site. Pictures of the carnage can be seen below.

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shanghai_building (4) shanghai_building (3) shanghai_building (1)

Toppled Building


  1. Beatriz Reply

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  2. VB Reply

    Above foundation the construction looks still intact, only the foundation is not good enough… means other buildings nearby may also at risk… so they need to be demolished before any accident occur.

  3. George Reply

    Liquefaction was the cause of failure as a result of low bearing capacity of soil (may be due to inappropriate compaction), no problem with the design.

    • hafiz Reply

      I think they did not do a soil investigation. For the highrise building the most important soil properties and strength of soil. The other issue is about foundition. Did they do piling foundation??

  4. Mike Reply

    But notice the building remained intact through the collapse – someone did a great job somewhere! Can we claim a building will remain intact after a catastrophic collapse (earthquake, tornado, avalanche, etc) I’ll bet not.

  5. bobo Reply

    the cause: as can be seen from the last photo, there was bulk excavation on the left side for basement carpark and the workers stockpiled on the right side.

    left side: confinement soil pressure was removed
    right side: overburden pressure increased

    result: the building block overturn and felt down when the pre-cast concrete pile broke

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