People trapped after building collapses in China


Published: 2022-04-30 12:44

Last Updated: 2022-10-04 05:03

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

Rescuers were racing to find survivors after a six-story building that was home to a restaurant, a guesthouse and a cinema collapsed on Friday in the central Chinese city of Changsha, state media reported.

Videos published earlier by local media showed a large cloud of dust rising into the air over the adjacent road after the structure caved in around noon local time (0400 GMT).

No casualties have been reported so far, though state-owned CGTN said people were trapped in the rubble and "a rescue operation is underway".

Photos published by state media on Friday afternoon showed a crumpled roof and railings at the site, while air conditioning units and other furnishings lay among the debris strewn on the street outside.

Broadcaster CCTV said "fire and emergency response department workers have rushed to the scene" and "the specific casualty situation is under investigation".

The owner of a nearby restaurant told Chinese newspaper the Southern Metropolis Daily that a funeral was being held in the building around the time of the incident.

Building collapses are not uncommon in China, due to weak safety standards and corruption among officials tasked with enforcement.

In January, an explosion triggered by a suspected gas leak brought down a building in the city of Chongqing, killing more than a dozen people.

And 25 people were killed in a gas blast that ripped through a residential compound in June 2021, also striking a busy two-storey building packed with shoppers.

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.