Top News

Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire

Updated: 2010-12-21 08:13

By Wu Yiyao (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

SHANGHAI - Residents of two buildings next to the downtown high-rise apartment block destroyed by a blaze on Nov 15 began moving back into their apartments on Monday although many did not believe the buildings were ready.

Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire
A resident living in a high-rise neighboring the fire-charred building in Shanghai cleans windows in his home on Monday. [Photo/China Daily] 

After the fire, which killed 58 people, more than 800 residents of the neighboring two buildings were moved to hotels for 35 days so the safety of the buildings could be assessed and repairs and renovations on them done.

The residents were told that they had to move back into the buildings on Monday, or each would have to pay 300 yuan ($45) a day to remain at the hotels.

Related readings:
Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire Shanghai blaze victims remembered
Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire Four Shanghai fire victims leave hospital
Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire Shanghai approves arrest of 13 suspects in high-rise fire
Residents return to apartments after Shanghai fire Shanghai blaze is a warni

"The two buildings have had various inspections to assess whether they are suitable to be lived in again," said a member of the work group who spoke on Monday on condition of anonymity.

To make sure the two buildings were safe and suitable for living, local authorities examined the facilities and air quality, assigned volunteers and opened a 24-hour hotline to help the residents, an official source told Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News.

The date for moving back had also been discussed and agreed upon at meetings with residents' representatives, he said.

But many residents believed the buildings were not ready for their return.

"Supplies of water, electricity and gas, and access to telecom and Internet services have been restored, and the external walls of the buildings have been cleaned," said Michael Zhang (not his real given name), a 35-year-old resident.

But the views from the apartments trouble residents like him, he said.

"The remains of the burnt building just outside our bedrooms remind us of the tragedy, and we will not be able to sleep well," said Zhang. "We got some thick curtains to block the view but they block the sunlight at the same time."

Masyule Mai (not her real given name), a 23-year-old resident, said the continuing renovation work in the buildings was a nuisance.

"The new paint causes nausea, and the smell of the smoke from the fire last month is still there. I feel very uncomfortable," she said.

Although an announcement posted in the lobbies of the buildings said the new paint had passed a safety test and would not harm people's health despite its smell, she said she and her family would stay with relatives and friends until their apartment had clean air.

Some elderly people have chosen to move back to spend the winter solstice day, which falls on Thursday this year, at their homes, due to a Chinese tradition that requires people to stay home on this important day of the Chinese lunar calendar, she said.


Ear We Go

China and the world set to embrace the merciful, peaceful year of rabbit

Preview of the coming issue
Carrefour finds the going tough in China
Maid to Order

European Edition


Mysteries written in blood

Historical records and Caucasian features of locals suggest link with Roman Empire.

Winning Charm

Coastal Yantai banks on little things that matter to grow

New rules to hit property market

The State Council launched a new round of measures to rein in property prices.

Top 10 of 2010
China Daily in Europe
The Confucius connection