2 people rescued 50 hours after China building collapse

BEIJING, May 2 (BNA): Two people were rescued, Sunday, from the rubble of a building in central China, more than 50 hours after it collapsed, leaving dozens trapped or missing, official media said.

And the new China News Agency (Xinhua) said that the police had separately arrested nine people, including the owner of the building, on suspicion of causing a major accident.

State broadcaster CCTV showed a video of rescue workers bringing a woman on a stretcher around 4:30 pm, and some could be heard chanting words of encouragement during the operation. Surveillance cameras said she was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. State media reported that another person was taken out alive in the evening but did not provide any details, the Associated Press reported.

Seven people were rescued from a building that collapsed Friday afternoon in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province. About 20 others remained trapped, and 39 others were not identified until late Saturday.

Besides the owner, police said they have arrested three people responsible for the design and construction and five others for what they said was a erroneous assessment of the safety of a guesthouse on the fourth to sixth floors of the building.

In the photos the building looked like it had been shattered almost to the second floor, leaving rubble strewn on the sidewalk. He was standing in a row of buildings six stories high.

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Xinhua said the building has eight floors, including a restaurant on the second floor, a cafe on the third floor, and residences on the two upper floors. Other media reports said it was a six-storey building. Xinhua said tenants have made structural alterations to the building, but the cause of the collapse is still being investigated.

Police said Hunan Xiangda Engineering Testing Corporation issued the false safety report on April 13. Those arrested included the company’s legal representative and four technicians suspected of providing the assessment.

After the number of self-constructed building collapses increased in recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Saturday that it is necessary to check such structures for any hidden dangers and repair them to prevent major accidents, Xinhua reported.

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


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