Dozens missing in China after uncompletely collapse of 6-storey building

Rescuers in central China have pulled out alive five of 23 people retained in a slightly collapsed building, authorities said on Saturday, while President Xi Jinping gave instructions to rescue the victims “at all costs.”

The six-storey building in the city of Changsha, in China’s Hunan province, slightly collapsed on Friday. State broadcaster CCTV reported that the collapse retained some 23 people who were in the building. But authorities also said that 39 others who were present around the site of the building when it toppled keep uncontactable, and rescue operations were underway.

Authorities said at a news conference that the five people who were rescued were in stable condition in hospital.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the building housed a restaurant, a coffee shop, a hotel and several apartments, CCTV reported.

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

BasicRescuers search for survivors in the aftermath of the collapse on Friday. (CNS/AFP/Getty Images)

Following an increase in the number of self-built building collapses in recent years, Xi also said that it was necessary to check on such structures to probe any hidden dangers and fix them in a timely manner to prevent the occurrence of major accidents, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

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

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

BasicAn aerial photograph provides a bird’s-eye view of the slightly collapsed building in Changsha, in China’s Hunan province. (CNS/AFP/Getty Images)
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