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Lawmaker resigns after basement-digging collapses neighbors' houses

2015-02-01 08:59 Xinhua Web Editor: Li Yan

A lawmaker from east China's Xuzhou has decided to resign after unauthorized basement construction at his Beijing courtyard home caused neighboring houses to collapse.

In a statement issued Friday, Li Baojun apologized to his neighbors and promised to compensate all losses incurred. He argued his wife's brother had lived in the house and was responsible for the construction.

The Beijing planning commission said Li had built a 18-meter-deep basement in his courtyard in the historic Xicheng District without permission, which caved in and caused the road and surrounding buildings to collapse on Jan. 24.

The incident has caused a stir on the Internet after Li was revealed to be a lawmaker in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, and the president of a local company.

An official with the Xuzhou legislature said they had received the resignation but Li had not showed up personally or contacted them.

Responding to criticism that Li vanished after the cave-in, Li said he had been in poor health condition and was seeing doctors outside Beijing.

People living near Li's residence said they had reported the building work to the authorities but officials had seemed powerless to stop the Xuzhou lawmaker.

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