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  • Rescuers work at the site of the collapsed five-story hotel in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, southeast China.

    Rescuers work at the site of the collapsed five-story hotel in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, southeast China. | Photo: EFE

Published 7 March 2020
Opinion

Some 70 people have become trapped under rubble after Xinjia Express hotel building collapsed in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China.

A hotel in south-eastern China used as a quarantine centre for holding people who have arrived from Coronavirus-hit regions has collapsed, trapping dozens, according to the local government.

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A video stream posted by the government-backed Beijing News site showed rescue workers in orange overalls clambering over the rubble of the Xinjia Express Hotel –in the city of Quanzhou– and carrying people toward ambulances.

The hotel collapsed at about 7:30 p.m. local time and 34 people were rescued in the following two hours, the Quanzhou municipality said on its website.

However, by dawn on Sunday, 47 individuals had been rescued, according to state media outlet People’s Daily.

In an earlier dispatch, the district government said 70 people were trapped after the building collapsed, but in the latest statement, it did not mention how many remained trapped. There were no immediate reports of deaths.

For its part, a report on Beijing News said it was unclear how many people were at the hotel at the time and how many remained trapped.

“I was at a gas station and heard a loud noise. I looked up and the whole building collapsed. Dust was everywhere, and glass fragments were flying around,” a witness said in a video posted on the Miaopai streaming app.

“I was so terrified that my hands and legs were shivering, he added.”

The 80-room hotel opened in June 2018 and had a 4.5-star rating on Trip.com.

Quanzhou in the province of Fujian is around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Wuhan in Hubei province, where the global COVID-19 outbreak began on December.

China has confirmed more than 80,000 cases, by far the most in the world.

The Asian country also reported 99 new cases on Saturday, its first daily increase of less than 100 since 20 January. The government reported 28 new fatalities, raising the mainland death toll to 3,070.

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