BEIJING: At least eight people have died and nine were missing in a hotel collapse in Suzhou city in eastern China, said authorities on Tuesday (Jul 13).
The Siji Kaiyuan hotel collapsed on Monday afternoon, the Suzhou government said.
Most people in the building at the time were hotel guests. Twenty-three people were trapped and six have been rescued so far.
More than 600 people including earthquake rescue teams and 120 vehicles were mobilised for the operation. Rescuers used cranes, ladders, metal cutters and search dogs to look for survivors.
No cause for the disaster has been given.
The hotel opened in 2018 and had 54 guest rooms, according to its listing on the travel site Ctrip.
Images from the scene showed orange-clad rescue workers swarming over large piles of rubble.
Suzhou, a city of more than 12 million roughly 100km west of Shanghai, is a popular destination for tourists drawn to its canals and centuries-old gardens.
Building collapses or accidents are not uncommon in China, often due to lax construction standards or corruption.
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The collapse of a quarantine hotel in southern China’s Quanzhou city in March last year killed 29 people, with authorities later finding that three floors had been added illegally to the building’s original four-storey structure.
And authorities in May evacuated one of China’s tallest skyscrapers, the SEG Plaza in the southern city of Shenzhen, after it shook multiple times over several days.