Dozens are missing after a building collapsed in China in the latest accident 2022-04-30 11:40:00

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At least 23 people were trapped under a collapsed building in the city center ChinaOfficials said rescuers had broken up the rubble brick by brick in an effort to reach survivors.

The building, consisting of a hotel, apartments and a cinema, collapsed Friday afternoon in Changsha, Hunan Province, leaving a gaping hole in a densely built street front.

The mayor of Changsha said 39 other people were unable to contact them after the accident.

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

“The situation of the missing persons is being further evaluated,” Mayor Cheng Jianxin said.

As of Saturday, city authorities had yet to reveal details of the victims. But officials said five people were rescued from the building overnight.

State media showed firefighters – backed by an excavator – cutting through a swamp of metal and sheets of concrete, while rescuers shouted at the wreck tower to reach out to any survivors.

A crowd gathered as lifeguards chained up bricks by hand, allowing experts to get a deeper look at the collapsed building.

Some of the wounded were carried on a stretcher through a narrow alley late Friday, while sniffer dogs combed the area for more signs of life.

Authorities have yet to announce the cause of the disaster, though speculation has turned into possible overwork on the property, which officials said was eight stories high, correcting earlier reports that it was six.

“Tenants have made structural changes to the building to varying degrees,” state broadcaster CCTV reported, adding that the cause of the collapse was under investigation.

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State media reported that President Xi Jinping called for the victims to be searched “at all costs,” adding that he had ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of the collapse.

A senior Communist Party official was earlier sent to the scene – an indication of the seriousness of the disaster.

An official statement on Saturday said State Councilor Wang Yong – appointed by the central government – was dispatched to lead a team “to guide rescue work and emergency response.”

Building collapses are common in China, due to poor safety and construction standards, as well as corruption among enforcement officials.

In January, a Explosion caused by suspected gas leak Demolition of a building in Chongqing, killing more than ten people.

Twenty-five people were also killed in June 2021 when a gas explosion hit an apartment complex in Xi’an.

In the same month, 18 people were killed and more injured when a fire broke out at a martial arts school, with state media reporting that all the victims were boarding school pupils.

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