Windows undergo safety check at accident site

The 7-year-old boy hit by a glass pane which fell from a seventh floor stairwell remains in a coma.
Xu Lingchao / SHINE

A worker reinforcing a window pane with sealant in a building next to the one where a glass pane fell and critically injured a 7-year-old boy on Wuwei Road E.

Stairwell windows at a residential complex when a boy was critically injured on Tuesday after a pane of glass fell from a seventh floor are being checked and reinforced or replaced.

“All the glass on the stairwell windows facing the street from No. 4 to No. 7 buildings in the housing estate at Lane 479 on Wuwei Road E. was duct-taped right after the incident,” Huang Yuangui, one of the workers on site, said on Wednesday.

Secretary of Yihe Huacheng neighborhood committee Zhao Min said all windows of similar stairwells in the community would be inspected and “glass with potential risk will be replaced.”

The 7-year-old boy, surnamed Zhou remained in a coma on Wednesday after surgery at Tongji Hospital, in a critical condition with brain ischemia — a condition which restricts the blood supply.

Shop owners along the street said similar incidents had occurred at least twice before, although no one had been injured.

“We called the police but were told to complain to the property management company,” said a shop owner, who did not want to be named. “We turned to the manager and that was it.”

But the property manager, surnamed Fang, said no complaints had ever been received.

“I’ve heard rumors online saying fallen glass crashed on parked cars, but no one came to us,” he said, adding investigations were continuing and he could not comment further.

Police has said initial inquiries indicated the glass had not been thrown deliberately.

Police have blocked off the road near the accident site and are not allowing students or parents to use the street to access the local school. Officers patrolled Wuwei Road E. during school drop-off and pick-up times on Wednesday.

When school finished around 3:50pm, Wuwei Road E. was crowded with cars and bikes as usual. Many parents escorting their children unconsciously looked up to the buildings when passing by.

Although early indications point to an accident, lawyers say the property management company could be held responsible.

“Public space in the neighborhood is usually managed by the property company,” said Ge Zhihao, from Beijing Guantao Law Firm (Shanghai).

“So if it was the company’s dereliction on maintenance or management that led to the accident, then the property company should be responsible.”

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