3 people died after being ripped from their high-rise apartments by freak wind storms in China, local reports say

3 people died after being ripped from their high-rise apartments by freak wind storms in China, local reports say
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Footage of one of the affected houses in Nanchang shows the extent fo the damage to the balcony and bedroom.
Footage of one of the affected houses in Nanchang shows the extent of the damage to the balcony and bedroom.

  • Strong winds in the Chinese city of Nanchang killed at least four people on Sunday, per state media.
  • At least three of them were swept out of their high-rise apartments at around 3 a.m., local outlets reported.
  • Footage shows apartments with gaping holes after entire floor-to-ceiling windows went missing.

Three people died on Sunday in China’s Jiangxi province after being torn from their high-rise apartments by heavy winds, local media reported.

All three were from the same waterfront neighborhood in the south of the city of Nanchang and were sleeping at around 3 a.m. when strong gales destroyed the outward-facing walls of their rooms, the Hubei-based outlet Jimu News reported.

A neighborhood chat group message published by Jimu News and other regional media identified three of the deceased as a 64-year-old woman, her 11-year-old grandson, and another 60-year-old woman.

Jimu News reported that it confirmed the deaths with local emergency authorities.

As of Tuesday morning Beijing time, state media had not acknowledged the specific circumstances of the deaths, but national broadcaster CCTV reported that four people died and more than 10 others were injured that morning due to “strong convective weather.”

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The 60-year-old woman’s death has captured the nation’s attention on social media, reaching 300 million views on Weibo, China’s version of X, on Monday, per data seen by Business Insider.

Footage of her room on the 11th floor, filmed by regional media, showed a destroyed floor-to-ceiling window with a gaping hole in the apartment that looked out over the urban landscape.

An empty bedframe and tattered curtains can be seen in the clip.

The woman’s partner, identified only by his surname Wan, told local reporters that he woke at around 3 a.m. due to the storm and discovered that the gusts had shattered the glass panels in his balcony.

Wan said he and his partner slept in different rooms that evening, and he went to wake her.

“I urgently ran to this room to call my partner. I called out, but there was no response. There was no person to call,” he said.

He later found his partner’s body at the base of the apartment building, his daughter told Jimu News.

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The 64-year-old woman and her grandson, identified by their surnames Liu and Xu respectively, slept in the same room and were swept downstairs with their mattress, Chengdu-based Red Star News reported.

They were living on the 20th floor, per Red Star News.

Reporters from both outlets published photos of the neighborhood that showed apartments with missing glass facades and only mangled frames remaining.

On Monday, the Nanchang Emergency Management Bureau said that the strong winds and rainstorms are expected to continue in the region over the next three days, with temperatures likely dropping about six degrees Fahrenheit.

“Severe convective weather is the most common disastrous weather,” the bureau warned. “It occurs suddenly, has a great impact, and has a high risk of disaster.”

A new blame game emerges

The recent deaths have turned attention to the neighborhood’s construction quality and its developer. One media outlet, Xinmin Weekly, pointed to a former manager at the developer being convicted of paying bribes to state officials from 2004 to 2019.

The ex-manager, Li Mengping, was sentenced to 10 years and two months in prison in June.

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While it’s unclear if there’s any link between Li and the neighborhood’s build quality, the allegation touches on two hot-button issues that have dominated the conversation in China — the central government’s crusade against rampant corruption and construction flaws in the nation’s now-ailing real estate market.

The affected high-rise neighborhood in Nanchang was completed in 2015, per property listings of the area.

“Shouldn’t your home be a safe haven from the wind?” one blogger wrote on Weibo. “This basic function couldn’t even be achieved. What really is the reason? The truth must be rigorously investigated,”

Others said associating Li’s bribes with the integrity of the glass facades is tenuous at best.

“These were installed by a decoration company found by the owner. It has nothing to do with the developer,” one person commented in a top post.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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