The death toll after a hotel collapse last Monday in eastern China has risen to seventeen, local authorities report. Most of the victims were guests at the hotel in Suzhou, China, west of Shanghai.
A total of 23 people were taken from under the debris, six survived, report different media. One of those six had no injuries. The remaining five have been taken to hospital.
Over 600 rescuers have searched the debris for survivors. They used large equipment and dogs and 120 vehicles, amongst others:
Initially, the rescue teams assumed there were eighteen people in the hotel. Later it turned out that there were five unregistered guests in the building.
The tourist hotel collapsed on Monday. According to the Singaporean news medium Zaobao.com, it has recently been renovated and changed ownership. The building was three floors high and had 54 rooms and some conference rooms. It opened in 2018.
It is still unclear what the exact cause of the collapse is. The Global Times reports that preliminary investigation shows that the new owner may have altered the construction of the building during the latest renovations.
The regional government says the accident is being investigated and does not rule out criminal prosecution for a few.
In fast-growing Chinese metropolises are regularly built under high pressure and construction standards are not always respected. This leads to buildings collapse more often.
In May, the nearly 300-metre high SEG Plaza in million-dollar city of Shenzhen began to shake. That led to panic. And last year dozens of people died when a five-story quarantine hotel collapsed in the southeast of the country.