Poor construction blamed for deadly South Korean gym collapse

Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM
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GYEONGJU, South Korea, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Police in Gyeongju, South Korea, Friday said poor construction and inadequate materials caused a gymnasium collapse last week that killed 10 people.

The incident happened at the Mauna Ocean Resort in Gyeongju on Feb. 17 during a welcoming party for 560 incoming freshmen of the Busan University of Foreign Studies being held in the resort's gymnasium, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The roof of the gymnasium collapsed, killing 10 people, mostly students, and 128 others were injured.

"The gymnasium showed numerous problems in terms of design, construction and supervision," said Bae Bong-gil, a lead investigator into the case.

Police said not enough bolts were used to hold an auxiliary pillar and the roof together, and some materials used to construct the main pillar did not meet government standards.

"Also, resort operators did not properly remove snow from the roof," Bae said, adding that heavy snow that had built up on the roof caused the collapse.

"We plan to seek criminal charges against those responsible for the safety inspection of the resort and building the gymnasium, as well as contractors of the substandard materials," Bae said, without giving further details on the identity of those involved.

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