Authorities begin demolition of collapsing kindergarten

By Claire Lee
  • Published : Sept 9, 2018 - 16:15
  • Updated : Sept 9, 2018 - 16:15

Authorities on Sunday began demolishing a collapsing kindergarten in southern Seoul, a property that has been causing a public uproar over a lack of safety measures for young children.

The three-story building, where some 120 preschoolers went to kindergarten, started leaning nearly 20 degrees on Thursday after a retaining wall in a nearby construction site collapsed. The wall’s collapse is reported to have been caused by heavy rain earlier this month. 

A kindergarten in Seoul`s Dongjak district is being demolished on Sunday after it began tilting earlier this week. (Yonhap)

No casualties were reported Thursday, as the building in Seoul’s Dongjak district was empty at the time. But teachers and children had been inside the property until just three hours before it began to tilt.

Administrators at the kindergarten claimed that they had seen a number of warning signs, including major cracks on the floor, since March this year.

The administrators said a property condition assessment firm, contracted by the Dongjak District Office of Education in Seoul, assessed the building upon their request in May but concluded that there was no major problem.

The tilting of the kindergarten building occurred just about a week after hundreds of people were evacuated from an apartment complex in Gasan-dong, southern Seoul, after a large sinkhole was found in the parking area.

The kindergarten building is expected to be completely demolished by Monday evening, authorities said.