Woman rescued 50 hours after China building collapse

China, rebuilding damaged building
Nine people, including the building owner, have been arrested on suspicion of causing a major liability accident, according to one news agency. Photo: PA Images

A woman was rescued from the rubble of a building in central China more than 50 hours after it collapsed, leaving dozens trapped or missing, state media said.

Meanwhile, police have arrested nine people including the building owner on suspicion of causing a major liability accident, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

State broadcaster CCTV showed video footage of rescuers bringing the woman out on a stretcher at about 4.30pm on Sunday. She was taken to hospital and was in stable condition, the broadcaster added.

She was the sixth person rescued from the building, which collapsed on Friday afternoon in the inland city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.

About 20 others remained trapped, and another 39 had not been accounted for as of late Saturday.

Besides the owner, police said they had arrested three people in charge of design and construction and five others for what they said was a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.

In photos, the building appears to have pancaked down to about the second floor, leaving rubble strewn on the sidewalk.

It had stood in a row of buildings about six storeys tall.

Xinhua said the building had eight floors, including a restaurant on the second floor, a cafe on the third floor and residences on the top two floors. Other media reports said it was a six-storey building.

Tenants had made structural modifications to the building, but the cause of the collapse remained under investigation, Xinhua said.

Police said the Hunan Xiangda Engineering Testing Company issued the false safety report on April 13th.

The people arrested included the legal representative of the company and four technicians suspected of providing the assessment.

Following an increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years, Chinese president Xi Jinping said on Saturday that it was necessary to check such structures for any hidden dangers and fix them to prevent major accidents, Xinhua said.

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

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