Xining road collapse accident, uncovering urban “underground scars”
“The first batch of municipal pipelines in China were buried underground after 1979. As the underground infrastructure ages and the number of municipal facilities construction projects increases, road collapse accidents should be given enough attention.”
At about 3 am on January 14th, the road collapsed in the central area of Xining City, and rescue workers continued to rescue. Photo by Beijing News reporter Ma Jun
At about 17:35 on January 13, the main street South Street of Chengzhong District, Xining City, Qinghai Province entered the evening peak, and there was a steady stream of vehicles. A bus No. 17 entered the Red Cross bus stop in front of the Great Wall Hospital, and many passengers were waiting here.
The video showed that after the bus stopped for about 5 seconds, passengers were lining up to get on the bus. The ground in front of the bus suddenly collapsed. The head of the bus was planted in the pit. Passengers near the door also fell down. A signpost beside the platform fell down.
In the subsequent large-scale collapse and explosion, more people fell into the pit. According to the Xining Municipal Government’s report, as of now, 9 people have been killed and 1 person is missing. Of the 16 wounded admitted to the hospital for treatment, 6 have been discharged and 10 are still being treated.
The Beijing News reporter’s investigation found that in recent years, the road section of the incident has suffered from underground pipeline ruptures and road depressions. Since 2014, at least 14 road subsidence accidents have occurred in Xining City. Public information can be found that many accidents are related to the aging of underground pipelines.
Not only Xining, but in recent years, road collapse accidents have occurred in various cities across the country. Several interviewed experts said that behind the frequent occurrences of land subsidence are the life cycle issues of urban infrastructure and the multiple management issues of competent authorities. At present, some cities have begun to explore the normal prevention and management of road underground pipeline networks, and have achieved certain results.
Liu Huizhong, executive secretary general of the Underground Pipeline Professional Committee of the China Urban Planning Association, told the Beijing News reporter, “The first batch of municipal pipelines in China was buried underground after 1979. With the aging of underground infrastructure and the increase in municipal facilities construction projects, Collapse accidents should be given enough attention, not just in case of accidents and emergency response, but should learn good experience and adopt a precautionary attitude. “
On the evening of January 16, the road section where the incident happened was full of rescue and engineering vehicles. Beijing News reporter Zhang Huilan
The surveillance video showed that the bus continued to fall for several tens of seconds after the incident, and several citizens tried to rescue the edge of the pit one after another, but soon a larger area collapse occurred, including a boy. A rescuer also fell into the pit. A few seconds later, a fire appeared in the pit and the smoke rose.
At the time of the incident, Liu Tianjun (a pseudonym), 16 years old, was walking out of the community across the road. He immediately jumped over the railing and rescued him.
Liu Tianjun saw that a buried water pipe in the pit had broken, and the water was flowing continuously. The fracture was facing the bus head, and there were still many thin pipelines beside the water pipe.
A live video obtained by a reporter from the Beijing News also showed that in the deep pit, above the sinking point of the vehicle, water was flowing continuously from a section of broken metal pipes.
In the afternoon of January 13, South Street, Chengzhong District, Xining Cityaccident scene. Photo courtesy
On January 17, a reporter from the Beijing News confirmed from a Xining Water Supply Group worker involved in the rescue that the broken water pipe was iron and about 50 cm in diameter. It is not yet known whether it was damaged before the subsidence.
After the firefighters arrived, they tied a rope to the bus, and passers-by including Liu Tianjun helped the firefighters to drag together. “There are five or six ropes, and one or thirty people are pulling.”
A citizen involved in the rescue told the Beijing News reporter that he had taken a rope and hammer from a nearby home, shattered the rear window, and pulled out five or six passengers with rope from the car. Okay. “
Rescue scene. Photo courtesy
While the rescue was ongoing, a second blast occurred. Liu Tianjun recalled that he was busy pulling people out of the car at that time, and another explosion sounded from the pit. The fire flared out of the ground, and the smoke cloud rose to a height of three or four stories, the intensity was significantly greater than the first time.
According to the Xining Municipal Government’s report, so far, 9 people have been killed and 1 missing. All 17 wounded in the accident were rushed to the Red Cross Hospital nearby. They are now in stable condition and are not life-threatening.
The bus driver was also rescued. On January 15, the elder brother of the female driver told the Beijing News reporter that her sister is still in the ICU, but she is out of danger. He said that according to the advice of a psychologist, the family still did not dare to ask her about the situation at the time of the incident and did not dare to talk about the casualties. “We do not want to stimulate her.”
The boys who participated in the rescue and fell into the pit during the subsequent collapse also lived in the hospital ward. Family members told the Beijing News reporter that the boy was 13 years old and was getting off the bus with his mother, brother and brother. He and his brother had reached a safe place. When they returned to the rescue, they just picked up their brother and collapsed for the second time. It dropped. All three brothers have been rescued, but the mother was killed in the incident.
After the surveillance video came out, the boy received public attention for saving people. However, the family members said that although the boy was not physically affected, he lost his mother because of the fright and was very unstable. He “was crying.”
Rescue scene. Photo courtesy
The cause of the accident is still to be confirmed by experts
The Beijing News reporter visited and learned that the road section of the incident had been repaired several times in recent years.
On the evening of January 15, a water company employee involved in the rescue at the scene revealed that the groundwater pipe in the road section of the incident “has been cracked many times” and “just replace the pipe.”
The merchant near the bus station Chengli (pseudonym) also remembered that in the beginning of 2019, the underground water pipe in the incident section had been damaged. When he passed by, he saw that the water supply company was rushing to repair and dug a pavement with a three or four meter long opening. Also stopped for two or three days. “
Not long before the incident, the section was repaired once.
A nearby merchant said that since October last year, large and small depressions have appeared on the road about 100 meters long before and after the incident, with a depth of about one or two centimeters. The diameter is as small as a fist, and the large one has a thick waist. In December, he found that the depression was newly paved.
The live video also showed that there were two square areas on the road, darker in color than the surrounding road surface, and the bus was trapped in one of the square areas.
On January 17, the relevant person in charge of the Municipal Public Service Center in Chengzhong District of Xining City responded to a reporter from the Beijing News that road repairs did take place near the site of the incident last year, “the unevenness of the road paved it.” However, the staff member is not sure whether the repair section contains subsidence.
Rescue scene. Photo courtesy
There are many reasons why roads can collapse.
A staff member of the Construction Bureau of Chengzhong District of Xining City said that the incident was located in the old urban area of Xining City, and similar problems occurred on the main roads. “Most likely, there is a problem with the underground pipe network”, which led to “ransom dripping (Note: In the process of storage, transportation, etc., runaway, water, dripping, and leakage occurred due to poor management and improper operation), and the road subsided. “
Liu Huizhong, executive secretary of the Underground Pipeline Professional Committee of the China Urban Planning Association, also believes that the secondary disaster caused by the aging of the pipeline may be the main cause of the road collapse in Xining.
Liu Huizhong judged that, on the one hand, from the perspective of the geological structure, the powdery collapsible loess in the northwestern region was easily lost and formed a cavity after being washed away by water flow; Hollow, which eventually caused the road to collapse. “
At 11:44 on January 14th, local emergency and fire protection departments arrived at the scene for disposal and searched and rescued by means of manual and large-scale machinery. Photo by Beijing News reporter Ma Jun
Many merchants also reported that the incident’s bus station was moved from a location 20 to 30 meters to the north around 2015. In order to build a new platform, the original sidewalk was cut off, and the section of the bus station was widened.
Liu Huizhong told the Beijing News reporter that underground pipelines are generally laid on green belts and road margins. Once the road is expanded, the original pipeline may carry more ground pressure. “There are more vehicles at the bus station, and more people, which can easily cause The problem of pipeline capacity. “
On January 16, Jin Haiwei, the head of the Engineering Technology Section of the Xining People ’s Air Defense Office, told the Beijing News that there was an air-raid shelter around the incident site. We also found the old drawings and cooperated with other rescuers to search and investigate, but we haven’t found them yet. “
On January 15th, Fu Taotao, deputy head of the maintenance department of Zhengzhou Municipal Engineering Management Office, analyzed to the reporter of the Beijing News that the air-raid shelter may also be one of the causes of road collapse. In the 1960s, China dug holes and accumulated grain. Many large cities have built many underground air-raid shelters. It may be that “the external pipes seep water, water has penetrated into the air-raid shelters, and water and soil are slowly lost, causing collapse.”
Liu Huizhong said that there are many details that need to be considered in the cause of an accident, and the authoritative cause of the accident must wait for official investigation before being determined.
On the evening of January 16, traffic control was still underway at the incident. Beijing News reporter Zhang Huilan
Urban roads collapse into a concentrated outbreak period
This is not the first time a road collapse has occurred in Xining. The Beijing News reporter found that since 2014, Xining City has initiated at least 14 road subsidence accidents. In Cheng Li’s memory, he also encountered it twice in the past few decades, both in the middle of the road.
Not only Xining, Liu Huizhong said that in recent years, road pavement collapse accidents in various cities across the country have continued to increase, gradually extending from first and second tier cities to third and fourth tier cities.
According to the “Analysis Report of National Underground Pipeline Accidents in China from October 2018 to September 2019” jointly released by Beijing Underground Pipeline Comprehensive Management Research Center and the Underground Pipeline Professional Committee of China Urban Planning Association, October 2018 to September 2019, public news A total of 142 ground collapse accidents were collected in China.
Fu Taotao told the Beijing News reporter that according to the observations and conclusions of the Zhengzhou municipal department, the time when roads collapse in different cities is different, but there are rules to follow. “Generally, it is closely related to the life cycle of infrastructure and the operating time of cities. Take Zhengzhou as an example. Zhengzhou became the provincial capital in 1954, and many water supply and drainage facilities have been in operation for more than 60 years. His Zhengzhou Municipal Engineering Management Office has calculated that from 2015 to 2017 was the peak period of Zhengzhou road collapse, which peaked in 2016, more than five times the previous year; and the roads with water aging in Zhengzhou roads 80% of the causes of the collapse.
According to the national standard “Technical Specifications for Urban Water Supply and Drainage” issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2012, the structural design of the main structures and underground pipelines in urban water supply and drainage facilities should not be less than 50 years.
According to public information, Xining has established the municipal government in 1949, and it has been more than 60 years.
Lei Chengbin, Minister of Ground Collapse Prevention and Control of Shenzhen Geological Environment Monitoring Center, also told the Beijing News reporter, “Road collapse is a kind of urban disease born from the development of the city to the present. Behind the beginning of urbanization in the last century, the construction standards were low. The quality of the building materials and the use environment are not as good as they are now. In addition to the disturbance caused by construction, the aging pipeline network is further exacerbated. Taking Shenzhen as an example, although the city has only been built for 40 years, many projects have reached the end of their useful lives. “
According to “Shenzhen Commercial Daily” reported on February 10, 2015, on the morning of the same day, there was a sudden collapse around the construction site of Metro Line 9 near Beidou Road in Luohu District. The Municipal Housing and Urban Construction Bureau responded that “the groundwater soil due to aging and rupture of water pipes The loss caused the ground to collapse. “
At 12:20 on January 14, rescuers used excavators and slag trucks to expand potholes, dug out dirt and gravel, and searched for missing persons. Photo by Beijing News reporter Ma Jun
On the other hand, Lei Chengbin said that many engineering and technical standards in China have been revised many times in the past few decades. As the standards increase, some abandoned facilities will also pose a potential disaster hazard.
According to public reports, in August 2017, a ground collapse occurred in the Amber City and Garden District, Yaohai District, Hefei City. It was later verified that a part of the pipeline left by the original abandoned factory building may be buried in the soil for a long time. When it rains, the water will cause the soil to flow into the abandoned pipeline, causing water and soil loss, and the soil will become loose and cause the ground to collapse.
On the evening of January 17, the scene of the fifth press conference of Xining Municipal Government. Beijing News reporter Zhang Huilan
Road collapse prevention and control dilemma: less experience and disorderly management
With the increase of urban road collapse accidents, road collapse management has become a new problem.
Lei Chengbin said that many cities “one is that they have no experience in dealing with problems and are prone to busy hands; the other is that there is no unified competent department and the responsibilities of each department are unclear in handling road collapse accidents.”
Aiming at the daily maintenance of the road underground pipeline network, the staff of the Planning and Construction Management Division of the Construction Bureau of Xining District of Xining City told the reporter of the Beijing News, “Everyone has its own pipe … The water pipe network is responsible for different units, the municipal center is responsible for road maintenance, and the power department and communications department are all separate. “
According to the Beijing News, after the incident, the Xining Municipal Government and the Emergency Management Bureau led the organization, and more than 1,000 people from emergency rescue, public security, fire protection, electricity, water supply, gas, and civil defense departments participated in the rescue.
On January 17, at the rescue site, reporters from the Beijing News could still see rescue and support personnel wearing various uniforms scattered around the scene of the incident. Various sections of rescue and construction vehicles were parked in the 400-meter section.
At 12:20 on January 14, the excavator and slag truck expanded the pothole and searched and rescued the missing person. The diameter of the pothole has reached more than ten meters. Photo by Beijing News reporter Ma Jun
In this regard, Liu Huizhong believes that at present most cities in the country face such problems and are handled by the Emergency Management Bureau without a unified responsibility unit. “The departments involved in road collapse are relatively comprehensive. The road itself is under the control of the transportation department. Among the underground pipelines, municipal departments, communication pipelines, and power pipelines have different departments.”
As for who is responsible for the problem, the above-mentioned staff said, “Whoever has a problem is who it is. The road (South Street) itself is the old road, and the subsequent pipelines are gradually added by departments according to their own needs, unless Only large-scale urban planning will be re-planned by city-level departments. “
Not only Xining, other cities have encountered similar problems.
Fu Taotao said that even the same pipeline may be responsible by different departments in different cities. “For example, in some cities, the drainage pipeline is managed by the municipal department and some are managed by the Water Bureau. Pipelines belong to different industries, and the differences are too large. It’s difficult to synchronize, there is no department dedicated to coordinating this. “
Lei Chengbin also said, “Cities establish their own departments and lead units as needed, and some are formed temporarily after a problem occurs.”
Shenzhen was one of the first cities to form a special leading group for the prevention of collapse accidents. According to public reports, in May 2013, a collapse occurred in the first section of Henggang Road, Longgang District, Shenzhen, killing five people.
In August 2013, the General Office of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government issued the “Special Work Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Ground Collapse Accidents in Shenzhen City”, announcing the establishment of a Shenzhen Ground Collapse Prevention Leading Group, with the then Deputy Mayor as the team leader. Member units include There are more than ten units such as the Municipal Compilation Office, the Development and Reform Commission, the Finance Committee, the Water Affairs Bureau, the Gas Group, the Transportation Commission, the Geological Bureau, and the Metro Group.
Lei Chengbin recalled that even in the year of establishment, which department headed the leading group also caused internal disputes. “In the beginning, various departments shied away from each other, and there was a situation where the government commanded the department and put it under the control of the department. The executive deputy mayor who served as the team leader just took charge of the emergency office, which was temporarily supervised by the emergency office that year.”
On the evening of January 16, a fire truck was parked in the roadway outside the rescue site. Beijing News reporter Zhang Huilan
Add road collapse prevention and control work to “urban medical examination”
On March 1, 2018, the first national group standard “Technical Specification for Radar Detection of Hidden Dangers of Road Subsidence” (T / CMEA2-2018) issued by the China Municipal Engineering Association began implementation.
The above-mentioned “Specifications” stipulates that urban highways, main roads, secondary roads, and other sections that are suspected of being collapsed should be tested for periodic collapse hazards. The detection cycle for urban expressways, main roads, important roads, and bustling commercial streets is 6 6 months for complex sections of underground pipelines and sections with high frequency of road collapse.
However, Fu Taotao said that the implementation of this standard in various places was “not optimistic.” On the one hand, it is because the occurrence of subsidence accidents is not high in many cities, has not caused great economic losses, casualties, and the control consciousness of the competent authorities is not strong; on the other hand, the latest control technology is still emerging and has not been well popularized. .
In recent years, with the frequent occurrence of subsidence accidents, many cities have also begun to develop normalized prevention and management from emergency response after accidents. Liu Huizhong said, “Many of the areas that were the first to expose the problem have already had better prevention and management measures.”
At the end of 2014, a “16 collapse” accident occurred in the West Third Ring Road of Zhengzhou City, and it collapsed at least 16 times since April 2014, causing continuous media attention. In 2015, Zhengzhou municipal government introduced the detection of underground hidden dangers for roads and the detection of robots for drainage pipes, and included them in urban construction plans over the years.
According to the official website of the Zhengzhou Municipal Government, since 2015, Zhengzhou’s ground penetrating radar has detected nearly 30 underground holes each year, and pipeline robots have detected 444 kilometers of sewage pipes and 21.16 kilometers of defective pipes of grade 3 or higher, providing a scientific basis for pipeline treatment.
In Shenzhen, it has been publicly reported that the ground collapse prevention project has become one of the major livelihood projects launched by Shenzhen in 2014, with a total investment of 2.4 billion yuan in three years, which poses hidden dangers to the collapse of roads, culverts, pipelines, foundation pits, and underground projects in the city. Conduct comprehensive investigations and implement rectification projects.
Nowadays, Shenzhen has gradually set up ground collapse prevention and control offices at the municipal and district levels of government. At the same time, it has established a complete working mechanism involving 28 departments and formed a set of emergency plans for sudden road collapse accidents.
Lei Chengbin said that in terms of accident disposal, Shenzhen follows the principle of “who causes who handles”: if the accident is caused by the rupture of a drainage pipe and is handled by a professional team of the Water Affairs Bureau, other departments cooperate; if the collapse caused by the construction of the subway, Disaster management by the orbit office. In the middle and after the event, experts also carried out evaluation to achieve a sound process.
Many interviewed experts also believe that the prevention and treatment of road collapse should be taken as an important content and added to the “urban medical examination”.
According to the Beijing News earlier, last March, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development launched the first batch of “urban physical examination” pilots, established an urban construction management and living environment quality evaluation system, and focused on managing “urban diseases.” Eleven cities, including Changsha, Guangzhou, and Nanjing, formed the “first pilot square matrix.” Xining is not among them.
Liu Huizhong believes that at present there is no detailed standard for “urban medical examination”. With the acceleration of urbanization, a large amount of underground infrastructure has entered the middle-aged and the elderly. Can they support the development of the city, meet the social and economic carrying capacity, and require regular medical examinations? And evaluation.
It is reported that at present, for coal, gas, water, electricity pipeline networks and other facilities, Qinghai has carried out the investigation and rectification of potential safety hazards across the province. On the evening of January 17, the Xining Municipal Government stated at a press conference that it would conduct a large-scale investigation and treatment of hidden dangers in civil air defense projects and underground pipeline networks throughout the city.
Beijing News reporter Zhang Huilan Li Yundie
Edited by Jingjing Wang Proofreading Wang Xin