Five rescued from collapsed building in China with 18 people feared trapped

·2-min read
Photos showed the front of the building largely intact, while the rear section appeared to have collapsed into itself (VIA REUTERS)
Photos showed the front of the building largely intact, while the rear section appeared to have collapsed into itself (VIA REUTERS)

Five people in China have been pulled out of the rubble of a collapsed residential building while authorities warn that 18 people are still trapped and dozens are missing.

On Friday, the six-storey building in the city of Changsha partially collapsed with 23 people inside, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Five of the 23 people are in stable condition in hospital, while the other 18 were feared to still be trapped at the time the rescues took place.

But authorities also said that 39 others who were present around the site of the building when it toppled remain uncontactable, and rescue operations were still underway.

President Xi Jinping gave instructions to rescue the victims “at all costs”.

The owner of the property has been detained on suspicion of illegal construction, according to CCTV.

Rescue workers at the site of the collapsed building in Changsha (via Reuters)
Rescue workers at the site of the collapsed building in Changsha (via Reuters)

The building contained a restaurant, a coffeeshop, a hotel, and several apartments, preliminary investigations revealed, according to a report by CCTV.

The tenants had made structural changes to the premises, and the exact cause of the collapse is still being investigated, the report said.

Photos showed the front of the building largely intact, while the rear section appeared to have collapsed into itself.

Mr Xi said that, following an increase in the number of self-built building collapses in recent years, there needs to be checks to the structures to find any hidden dangers that need to be fixed, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for such structural disasters.

In January, more than a dozen people died when an explosion triggered by a suspected gas leak tore down a building in the city of Chongqing.

In June last year, 25 people died when a gas blast hit a residential compound in the city of Shiyan.

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