Monday, July 26, 2021

At least 8 dead in hotel collapse in China’s Suzhou

Building collapses are common in China, often due to lax construction standards or corrupt officials responsible for building standards.

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At least eight people have died and nine are missing in a hotel collapse in Suzhou city in eastern China, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Siji Kaiyuan hotel collapsed on Monday afternoon, the Suzhou government said.

Most people in the building at the time were hotel guests. Twenty-three people were trapped and six have been rescued so far.

More than 600 people including earthquake rescue teams and 120 vehicles were mobilised for the rescue operation. Teams used cranes, ladders, metal cutters and search dogs to look for survivors.

No cause for the disaster has been given.

The hotel opened in 2018 and had 54 guest rooms, according to its listing on the travel site Ctrip.

Images from the scene showed orange-clad rescue workers swarming over large piles of rubble.

Suzhou, a city of more than 12 million, roughly 100km west of Shanghai, is a popular destination for tourists.

It’s on the lower Yangtze river and is known for its canals, pagodas, and beautiful gardens. Also a major centre for silk production and manufacturing, it is designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Building collapses or accidents are common in China, often due to lax construction standards or corrupt officials overseeing building standards.

The collapse of a quarantine hotel in southern China’s Quanzhou city in March last year 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.

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