Rescuers in central China have rescued five of 23 people trapped in a partially collapsed building alive, authorities said on Saturday, while President Xi Jinping issued instructions to rescue the victims “at all costs”.
The six-storey building in the city of Changsha, in China’s Hunan Province, partially collapsed on Friday. State broadcaster CCTV reported that the collapse had trapped some 23 people who were inside the building. But authorities also said 39 other people who were present around the site of the building when it toppled remain unreachable and rescue operations are underway.
Authorities told 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, cafe, hotel and several apartments, CCTV reported.
The tenants made structural changes to the premises and the exact cause of the collapse is still under investigation, according to the report.
Following an increase in the number of collapses of self-constructed buildings in recent years, Xi also said it is necessary to check these structures to investigate any hidden dangers and repair them in a timely manner to avoid the occurrence of disasters. major accidents, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Photos showed the front of the building largely intact, while the back portion appeared to have collapsed on itself.
Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use rebar, is often blamed for such disasters.