Hotel collapse in eastern China leaves one dead, 10 missing

Published July 13, 2021, 6:04 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

BEIJING, China – A hotel collapsed in eastern China Monday, leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing, the local government said.

Rescuers had pulled seven survivors from the rubble of the budget Siji Kaiyuan hotel in the popular tourist city of Suzhou, according to a statement on the city government’s official social media account.

The Suzhou government said it was “sparing no effort to treat the injured”, adding that authorities were investigating the cause of the disaster.

The Siji Kaiyuan opened in 2018 and had 54 guest rooms as well as a banquet hall and conference rooms, according to its listing on the travel site Ctrip.

Images published by CCTV showed more than a dozen rescue workers in helmets at the site of the disaster, with the warped cladding of the hotel visible atop a mound of rubble.

The images showed broken glass littering the ground around the rescuers, with pipes protruding from what appeared to be parts of the building that remained standing.

China’s Ministry of Emergency Management published footage of rescuers pulling a shirtless man with a leg wound from the rubble on a stretcher.

Medics were waiting for the man, who appeared conscious.

The ministry said more than 500 firefighters had to be deployed to carry out the rescue.

Additional footage shared by other Chinese media showed a crowd of onlookers filming the rescue on their phones.

Suzhou, a city of over 12 million roughly 100 kilometres west of Shanghai, is a popular destination for tourists drawn to its canals and centuries-old gardens.

Building collapses or accidents are not uncommon in China, often due to lax construction standards or corruption.

The collapse of a quarantine hotel in southern China’s Quanzhou city last March killed 29 people, with authorities later finding that three floors had been added illegally to the building’s original four-storey structure.

And authorities in May evacuated one of China’s tallest skyscrapers, the SEG Plaza in the southern city of Shenzhen, after it shook multiple times over several days.

At least 20 people died in 2016 when a series of crudely constructed multi-storey buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou.

And in 2019, 10 people were killed in Shanghai after the collapse of a commercial building during renovations.

 
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