980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuations
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It was on shaky ground.
A Chinese skyscraper had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon after it began inexplicably swaying on its foundation, prompting scores of bystanders to flee in terror, as seen in a series of viral videos circulating social media.
The shaky incident occurred around 1 p.m. at Shenzhen’s SEG Electronics Building, which is one of China’s tallest structures in the city at a whopping 980 feet tall.
“The people in the building and downstairs fled for their lives!” read the caption to one of the Twitter clips, which depicts petrified shoppers stampeding across a plaza like scene out of a monster movie.
A follow-up clip posted by local media shows the top of the 73-story structure, on which two white conductor poles can be seen wobbling precariously.
The building was sealed off around 2:40 p.m. after all the residents had been evacuated, the Daily Mail reported.
Nonetheless, authorities remain baffled by the cause of the mishap as there “was no earthquake in Shenzhen” that day, according to a statement by emergency services. Meanwhile, weather reports clocked the local wind speed at 27 miles per hour, which is not nearly powerful enough to shake a building.
“The cause of the shaking is being verified by various departments,” the statement read.
This isn’t the first structural catastrophe to occur in China, which has been criticized for erecting buildings in haste amid its rapid urbanization campaign.
China has suffered several major work-safety accidents in recent years blamed on weak regulatory oversight, systemic corruption and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy, according to the Associated Press.
At least 67 people died in 2016 after scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in Beijing, marking the country’s worst work-safety incident in two years.
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