Discarded Elevators Put into Use again
   2011-11-28 12:13:08    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Jiang

Discarded elevators in the Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou city, east China's Zhejiang province, were re-assembled using old parts and then resold to small companies and real estate developers to be installed in their buildings again, creating considerable safety hazards, the Xinhua news agency reported.

A worker died on April 25 after becoming trapped in an elevator at a craftwork company in Xiaoshan while carrying out maintenance work. An investigation by the Hangzhou quality inspection bureau discovered that the elevator had been re-assembled from the parts of discarded elevators, stating that safety hazards exist in its controlling system, brakes and door system.

The report revealed that the elevator produced by Hangzhou Xizi Group and installed at a market was declared to have been discarded in 2006. However, after re-assembly work, the elevator was sold by a dealer to the company. Moreover, the Xiaoshan station of the Hangzhou municipal Special Equipment Inspection Institute issued a report stating that the equipment had passed its inspection and was assigned a new serial number as a result. Over the following four years, the station continued to issue reports of regular inspections passing the elevator as being safe. The last inspection date was August 12, 2010.

The Hangzhou quality inspection bureau has since found 67 other elevators in Xiaoshan suspected of having been assembled from old parts. The Xinhua report quotes anonymous insiders as saying that the actual number of substandard elevators in the district far surpasses the above figure, and that the majority of them were installed in suburban or rural areas, small-scale enterprises or markets, for cargos or passengers.

Elevators in China began to be installed on a large scale in the 1980s; though most of those were supposed to have been discarded by now. A number of illegal dealers purchased the expired equipment for resale, passing them off as relatively new elevators from recently dismantled buildings which can be legally resold.

A discarded elevator can be bought for 5,000 to 20,000 yuan and then resold for 60,000 or even 80,000 yuan. In comparison, a new domestically-made elevator costs around 120,000 yuan.

The report quotes official statistics which state that China has installed about 2 million elevators so far, and that the rate of installation is increasing 20 percent a year. In Zhejiang province alone, more than 1,000 elevators were discarded every year.

Experts suggest that the government should make available the information of discarded elevators in public archives so that they can be traced. The personnel responsible for inspecting the problematic elevator causing the worker's death have been suspended pending further investigation.



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