China hotel collapse: Death toll from coronavirus quarantine disaster rises to 10

Some 23 people remain missing

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 08 March 2020 13:16
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Chinese hotel used as coronavirus quarantine centre collapses

At least 10 people have died after a Chinese hotel being used to quarantine people under observation for coronavirus collapsed.

Some 71 people were trapped when the building in the southeastern city of Quanzhou collapsed on Saturday evening, China‘s Ministry of Emergency Management said.

The ministry said 38 people had been rescued and sent to hospitals, while 23 remain missing.

Photos from the scene showed rescue workers in hard hats, goggles and face masks carrying the injured away to waiting medical staff in white overalls and surgical masks.

A rescue force of over 1,000 people arrived at the site on Saturday night, authorities said.

Of the 71 people inside the hotel when it collapsed, 58 had been under quarantine, the authorities added.

The cause of the collapse was under investigation and the owner of the building, a man surnamed Yang, had been summoned by police, the state media outlet Xinhua said.

Two supermarkets on the first floor of the seven-storey building were undergoing remodelling and a pillar reportedly deformed a few minutes before the collapse, Xinhua reported, quoting a housing and development official.

Built in 2013, the building was later converted to a 66-room hotel that opened in June 2018, Quanzhou authorities said.

Most Chinese cities are isolating people who had travelled from the worst-hit Hubei province for 14 days.

China has confirmed more than 80,000 cases of coronavirus, representing about 75 per cent of the global total, and more than 3,000 people have died there of the disease.

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