The strength of the quake, not shoddiness of construction was the main reason that so many schools collapsed during last May’s devastating earthquake in Sichuan.
So says the province’s executive vice governor, Wei Hong, basing his judgment on an investigation by provincial officials and engineers from Tsinghua University. Wei also said that the official death toll of schoolchildren still hadn’t been calculated. But then it is only 10 months since the quake struck.
Grieving parents and those who have braved official harassment to protest the lack of holding anyone to account for the collapse of some 7,000 schools while nearby buildings such as party offices survived are unlikely to be satisfied on either count.
Wei’s remarks were made a news conference during the National People’s Congress. What this Bystander isn’t sure about is whether the investigation Wei mentioned was the same one Beijing promised into possible corruption connected to the construction of schools. Or are we all meant to have forgotten that as it is the quake that is to blame?