China building collapse, police arrest nine people
Rescuers in central China pulled five people alive from a partially collapsed building on Saturday where at least 18 others could still be trapped.
The six-story building, which housed a hotel, apartments and a cinema, caved in on Friday afternoon in Changsha city, Hunan province.
Five people were rescued on Saturday but at least 18 people are still trapped inside, and another 39 are unaccounted for, according to Changsha Mayor Zheng Jianxin.
The cause of the disaster has not been confirmed by authorities.
Building collapses are not uncommon in China due to weak safety standards and corruption among officials tasked with enforcement of construction quality standards.
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.
Twenty-five people also lost their lives in June 2021 when a gas blast hit a residential compound in the city of Shiyan.
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.
Chinese police say they have arrested nine people over the collapse of the building. The building’s owner was detained, along with three others responsible for its construction. Another five were charged with writing a false safety report for the building.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES