Rescuers work at a site where a building collapsed in Changsha, Hunan province, China.

Dozens of people are missing or trapped in the rubble of a building that collapsed on Friday in the central city of Changsha. Chinawhere rescue operations continue, state television reported on Saturday.

Some 18 people are trapped and another 39 remain unaccounted for after the collapse of the eight-story building on Friday afternoon, state television network CCTV reported.

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It is unclear whether authorities believe the people who could not be contacted might be under the rubble.

The situation of the disappeared is being evaluated.” Mayor Zheng Jianxin told reporters.

The building housed a cinema, a hotel and apartments. No casualties have been reported so far and city authorities said five people were rescued from the collapsed structure overnight.

Images published by the Chinese media show the collapsed roof, furniture and air conditioners among the rubble and rescuers trying to communicate with the trapped people.

Rescuers work at a site where a building collapsed in Changsha, Hunan province, China. / cnsphoto via REUTERS

To cut through the rubble, rescuers use circular saws.

Some of the wounded were carried on stretchers down a narrow alley as sniffer dogs searched for signs of life.

“The tenants made structural changes to varying degrees”CCTV television said, adding that the reason for the collapse was being investigated.

exhaustive investigation

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of the collapse and called for the victims to be searched for.At whatever price”state media reported.

Wang Yong, a senior Communist Party official, was sent to the scene to lead a team to guide rescue operations”, according to an official statement on Saturday, which may be an indication of the severity of the disaster.

Dozens of people trapped and missing in China building collapse
Dozens of people were missing or trapped in the rubble of a building that collapsed on Friday in the central Chinese city of Changsha, where rescue operations are continuing, state television reported on Saturday.

State Councilor Yong, appointed by the central government, was sent to lead a team to “guide rescue and emergency response operations”according to an official statement on Saturday.

These disasters are frequent in China, due to poor compliance with safety regulations.

In January, an explosion caused by an alleged gas leak caused a building to collapse in the city of Chongqing, some 1,700 km west of Shanghai, leaving more than a dozen dead.

A gas line explosion in a residential area in June 2021 killed 25 people in central Hubei province.

And the same month, 18 people were killed by a fire at a martial arts school. All the victims were boarding school students, according to state media.

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