26 people died in a building collapse in China

Officials said 26 people were confirmed dead in the collapse of a six-story building in Hunan province, after nearly a week of rescuers searching through the rubble.

“Currently 10 people trapped have been rescued and 26 people have died,” the Chinese official said today. The death toll was previously confirmed at 5 and many are believed to be still missing in the rubble.

The 6-storey building, including cinemas, motels, cafes, shops and apartments, was flattened after the incident on April 29, leaving holes in a busy street in Trường Sa city. , Hunan Province and created a mess with broken concrete beams.

Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building in Trường Sa city, Hunan province, China on April 29.  Photo: AFP.

Rescuers work at the site of a collapsed building in Trường Sa city, Hunan province, China on April 29. Image: AFP.

Rescuers found the survivor with the help of sniffer dogs, detectors, drones, as well as screams and noises made by victims. Xinhua reported that the collapsed building was a “self-built residential structure”.

The owner of the building and 10 other people were arrested for allegedly ignoring building regulations or other violations. Authorities also believe that those responsible for assessing the safety of the building have faked the records.

Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier called for the search for victims “at all costs” and ordered a comprehensive investigation into the cause of the collapse. A top official from the Chinese Communist Party was also dispatched to the scene.

Building collapse in China

The scene of the collapse of a 6-storey building in Trường Sa city, Hunan province, China on April 29. Video: Scgcnews.

Building collapses are not uncommon in China, due to poor safety standards and corruption at construction sites. China is also affected by deteriorating infrastructure, such as gas pipelines.

In January, an explosion suspected of a gas leak collapsed a building in the city of Chongqing, killing more than a dozen people. Last June, a gas explosion also collapsed a residential building in Shiyan City, Hubei Province, killing 25 people.

Also in June 2021, 18 people were killed and many injured when a fire broke out at a martial arts school. According to Chinese media, all victims are boarding students.

Mr. Xi last month called for increased inspections to detect structural weaknesses, amid an increase in collapses of self-built homes.

Huyen Le (Theo AFP)

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