World Neighbours 10 Mar 2020 After 69 hours, surv ...

After 69 hours, survivor rescued from China quarantine hotel rubble

AFP
Published Mar 10, 2020, 7:19 pm IST
Updated Mar 10, 2020, 7:19 pm IST
Nine still feared trapped under collapsed 66-room hotel
A man is rescued from the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou where 71 people were held under observation for coronavirus. (AFP)
 A man is rescued from the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou where 71 people were held under observation for coronavirus. (AFP)

BEIJING: A survivor was rescued after being trapped for 69 under a collapsed hotel that was used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in Quanzhou in eastern China Tuesday. Nine are still feared trapped.

Twenty people died when the 66-room Xinjia hotel crumbled Saturday night. Forty-one people were rescued from the wreckage and .

 

The unidentified man was pulled out late Tuesday afternoon nearly three days after the building collapsed, according to the official Xinhua news agency, and sent to a nearby hospital.

Reports said the building was illegally rebuilt several times. The accident has exposed safety loopholes that were neglected by local authorities, Shang Yong, deputy head of the Ministry of Emergency Management, said at a press conference Tuesday.

“This hotel was illegally constructed and repeatedly violated the regulations,” Shang said, adding that local officials had “neglected their supervision responsibilities.” Local media published a video that appeared to show the hotel's facade crumbling to the ground in seconds, exposing the structure's steel frame.

 

A video posted online Tuesday by the Ministry of Emergency Management showed rescuers bowing over the body of a victim, with one rescuer breaking down in tears and leaving the scene.

Earlier footage from the ministry showed rescuers helping children don surgical masks before pulling them from the remains of the six-storey Xinjia hotel.

The National Health Commission said it had dispatched to Quanzhou 18 medical experts from the nearby cities of Fuzhou and Xiamen.

The emergency management ministry said some 200 local and 800 Fujian province firefighters had been deployed to the scene along with 11 search and rescue teams and seven rescue dogs, according to Xinhua.

 

China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly construction accidents that are typically blamed on the country's rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.

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