4 under criminal detention over signboard collapse

Four suspects responsible for the collapse of a signboard on Nanjing Road E. which killed three and injured six have been placed under criminal detention.

Four suspects responsible for the collapse of a signboard on Nanjing Road E. which killed three and injured six have been placed under criminal detention on charges of endangering public security through negligence, Huangpu District police announced on August 30. 

The signboard of souvenir shop “Adventure Castle” at No. 132 Nanjing Road E. collapsed at around 9:45pm on August 12. The shop was less than 300 meters away from famous tourist attractions Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall and the Bund.

Three people in charge of the shop, surnamed Pan, Li, and Chen, have been under criminal detention since the incident. 

According to Huangpu police, the signboard was last renovated in June 2015 by Shanghai Rongjing Industrial Limited Company, which didn't hold the required qualifications to make such changes.

The police statement said the company failed to anticipate the safety hazard caused by the renovation. 

The aluminum-plastic panel and other parts of the previous shop front, which should have been torn down, remained. Instead, the company installed several new aluminum-plastic panels directly on top of the previous ones. A bank of spotlights was installed at the bottom of the new signboard.

Police said the multilayer aluminum-plastic panels on the frame of the signboard fell off on the night of the tragedy — previous media reports stated it was the bottom frame of the signboard that came off, claiming three lives.

The person legally responsible for the company who illegally renovated the sign, a man surnamed Wang, was busted on August 26 by the joint efforts of police from Shanghai and Anhui Province. 

Wang is under criminal detention for the same charge as the other three.


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