Rescuers pull 7 more from rubble of collapsed hotel in China

Teams are combing through debris after budget hotel in the eastern city of Suzhou collapsed on Monday afternoon.

Rescuers search the rubble for survivors after a budget hotel in Suzhou collapsed on Monday [CNS via AFP]

Rescuers have pulled seven more survivors from the rubble of a 54-room budget hotel that collapsed in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, state media said on Tuesday.

The Siji Kaiyuan hotel collapsed on Monday afternoon, with authorities initially saying one person had died.

On Tuesday, the state-run People’s Daily newspaper said eight people had been confirmed dead, with 14 rescued. Nine people remain missing, it said.

No further information was given on what might have caused the collapse.

The three-storey hotel had 54 guest rooms, according to its listing on the travel site Ctrip.

A resident said the building was about 30 years old and had been through a number of owners, Sixth Tone, a sister media outlet reported. There had been construction work taking place at the hotel prior to its collapse, it added.

State media said 600 firefighters as well as seven rescue dogs were sent to the scene of the collapse [CNS /AFP]

Images showed orange-clad rescue workers sorting through large piles of rubble. State media said more than 600 firefighters, 112 fire trucks and seven rescue dogs had been deployed to the scene.

Suzhou, a historic city of more than 12 million people that is roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) 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.

The collapse of a quarantine hotel in southern China’s Quanzhou city last March killed 29 people, with authorities later finding that three floors had been added illegally to the building’s original four-storey structure.

Last August, a banqueting hall in northern Shanxi province collapsed during a birthday party leaving 29 dead in an incident linked to the use of substandard materials.

In May, authorities evacuated people from one of China’s tallest skyscrapers, the SEG Plaza in the southern city of Shenzhen, after it shook multiple times over several days.

SEG Plaza in Shenzhen was temporarily closed in May after it began to shake unexpectedly, triggering widespread panic [File: Noel Celis/AFP]
Source: AFP, Al Jazeera