8 killed, nine missing in hotel collapse in China

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Beijing, Jul 13 (PTI) A part of a budget hotel collapsed in east China's coastal city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, killing at least eight people while the rescuers are searching for nine others still missing in the accident, local authorities said on Tuesday.

The accident took place on Monday, trapping 23 people, according to the rescue headquarters.

So far, 14 people have been traced, of whom one is unscathed, five are in stable condition while nine remain missing, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Preliminary investigations found that the collapse was triggered by an unauthorised renovation, according to the government of Wujiang District, where the hotel is located.

Further investigation into the cause of the accident is underway, the report said.

The Siji Kaiyuan is a budget hotel that opened in 2018. The part that collapsed was three storeys tall and had 54 guest rooms, according to a booking site.

Rescue workers are using cranes, ladders, metal cutters and search dogs to look for the missing people.

Over 600 people, including earthquake rescue teams and 120 vehicles, have been mobilised for the operation.

Building collapses in China are often due to lax construction standards or corruption.

The collapse of a quarantine hotel in Quanzhou, in southern China, last March killed 29 people. A probe into the collapse later found that three floors had been added illegally to the building's original four-storey structure. PTI KJM MRJ AKJ MRJ

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