CHINA. GOVERNMENT: DEATH PENALTY FOR BUILDERS WHO CUT CORNERS
May 18, 2008: the Chinese government said it will impose the death penalty on anyone who is found responsible for the shoddy construction of the nearly 7,000 schools that collapsed in the recent earthquake.
Two-hundred thousand buildings were destroyed as a result of the 7.9 magnitude quake. There is reportedly huge anger over the collapse of so many buildings, particularly schools, while other buildings remained standing. Many are questioning the soundness of the structures, and wonder whether the strictest regulations were followed in their construction. Authorities are not yet sure what caused so many buildings to buckle so easily.
Reports say it could be faulty design or the buildings could have been poorly built using cheap materials. Other possibilities are that the buildings could have been old, or built before seismic codes were enacted. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 18/05/2008)