Police arrest 9, dozens still missing or trapped after building collapses in China

Chinese police arrested a building owner and eight others on Sunday, two days after the structure collapsed, leaving dozens of people trapped or missing, police and state media said.

The official Xinhua news agency said the owner of the building was among those arrested. Changsha City police said they also arrested three people responsible for design and construction and five others for what they said was a false security assessment of a guest house located on the fourth to sixth floors. stage.

Five people had been rescued on Saturday evening, more than 24 hours after the collapse. About 20 people remained trapped and 39 others were not found.

In photos, the building appeared to have collapsed to around the second floor, leaving rubble strewn across the pavement. He was in a row of about six-story buildings in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.

Rescuers are transferring one person who was pulled alive from the building on Saturday. (Chen Zeguo/Xinhua/Associated Press)

Xinhua reported that the building has eight floors, including a restaurant on the second floor, a cafe on the third floor and residences on the top two floors. Other media said it was a six-story building. Tenants made structural changes to the building, but the cause of the collapse remains under investigation, Xinhua said.

Police said the Hunan Xiangda Engineering Testing Co. released the fake safety report on April 13. Those arrested included the company’s legal representative and four technicians believed to have provided the assessment.

The Changsha city building collapsed on Friday. It would have housed a restaurant, cafe and residences. (Chen Zeguo/Xinhua/Associated Press)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that inspections of structures were needed to detect hidden dangers and repair them to prevent major accidents, Xinhua said.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use rebar, is often blamed for such disasters.