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18 trapped, others missing after China building collapse

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Sun, 1 May 2022, 2:32pm
A building has collapsed in China's Changsha city, Hunan province. Photo / Twitter
A building has collapsed in China's Changsha city, Hunan province. Photo / Twitter

18 trapped, others missing after China building collapse

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Sun, 1 May 2022, 2:32pm

At least 18 people were trapped under a building that collapsed in central China, officials said on Saturday local time, as rescuers pulled apart the rubble brick by brick in an effort to reach survivors. 

The building, which housed a hotel, apartments and a cinema, caved in on Friday afternoon in Changsha city, Hunan province, leaving a gaping hole in a densely built street front. 

It was not clear if authorities believed the people who could not be contacted were also under the rubble. 

City authorities are yet to release details of casualties but said five people were rescued from the structure overnight. 

A crowd gathered as chains of rescuers removed pieces of brick by hand, allowing experts a deeper look into the pancaked building. 

No cause for the disaster has yet been given by authorities, although speculation turned to possible overwork on the property, which officials said was eight storeys high, correcting earlier reports that it was six. 

Search 'at all cost' 

A top Communist Party official was earlier dispatched to the scene – an indication of the severity of the disaster. 

Building collapses are not uncommon in China, because of weak safety and construction standards as well as corruption among officials tasked with enforcement. 

Twenty-five people lost their lives in June 2021 when a gas blast hit a residential compound in the city of Shiyan.