On Monday afternoon, the budget Siji Kaiyuan hotel in the popular tourist city collapsed, with initial reports saying at least 23 people were trapped underneath the rubble.
At least 14 have been rescued from the site so far, the People’s Daily reported on Tuesday.
The Suzhou government is still investigating the cause of the collapse.
Rescue workers dressed in orange overalls used cranes, metal cutters and search dogs to look for any survivors.
More than 600 people, including earthquake rescue teams, and at least 120 vehicles were mobilised for the search and rescue operation.
The hotel, Siji Kaiyuan, started operations in 2018 and according to the travel booking site Ctrip had 54 rooms as well as a banquet hall and conference rooms.
Suzhou, with a population of about 12 million, is a popular tourist destination known for its canals, thousand-year-old temples and world-class museums. According to the tourism site traveltosuzhou.com, the city is bordered by the Yangtze River in the north, Shanghai in the east, Zhejiang Province in the south and Lake Taihu in the west.
Building collapses are not uncommon incidents in China, a result of a combination of sub-par construction standards and local corruption.
Last year in March, the collapse of a quarantine hotel in southern China’s Quanzhou city killed at least 29 people. The hotel had constructed three additional floors illegally, reports said at the time.
In May this year, a 300-metre-tall skyscraper — the SEG Plaza in the southern city of Shenzhen in China — was evacuated after it started oscillating multiple times over several days. The SEG Plaza skyscraper is among the 100 tallest buildings in the country, and comprises more than 70 stories.
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