Rescuers in central China have extracted a survivor from the rubble of a mixed-use building 88 hours after it collapsed, the ninth person found alive to date.
The unnamed woman was discovered by a search team in Changsha, Hunan province, who heard her banging on objects inside the structure, which had collapsed last Friday, the service said. Chinese official press Xinhua.
Firefighters made eye contact with the woman and pulled her out of the debris at 4:15 a.m. local time on Tuesday before taking her to hospital. Medics at the scene said the survivor was conscious and able to communicate lucidly with her rescuers. His vital signs were normal, Xinhua said.
News of his rescue came around 4 p.m. after a crucial window described by Changsha Mayor Zheng Jianxin as the “golden 72 hours”. The eighth survivor was found on Monday afternoon.
More than 700 rescue workers were dispatched to the site in Changsha’s Wangcheng district after the eight-storey building, described by authorities as “self-built”, collapsed at 12:24 p.m. local time on April 29, leaving a noticeable void in a row of structures of the same height.
According to a preliminary investigation, the collapse was confirmed to have trapped a total of 23 people, including at least one child. 39 other people would be out of reach and therefore missing.
On Sunday, Changsha police said they arrested nine people in connection with the building collapse. Among them is the owner of the building, accused of ignoring building codes and other violations. People involved in the design, construction and safety inspection of the structure were also detained, authorities said in a brief online statement.
Chinese state media reported that a hotel was run from the second floor of the building, while a cafe operated on the third. The fourth, fifth, and sixth floors belonged to a guest house, and the seventh and eighth floors were private residences.
The building was constructed in 2012 on six floors. Two more floors were added in 2018, according to reports, citing local government findings. Tenants have made structural changes to the building, but authorities have yet to determine whether they contributed to last week’s collapse.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a thorough investigation into the incident as well as any “hidden dangers” that may exist in other structures, to prevent similar major accidents in the future, Xinhua said. over the weekend.
Lack of compliance with safety standards and lax oversight at local government level have been responsible for a number of fatal building collapses in recent years.
In July 2021, a three-story, 54-room hotel in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, collapsed in one afternoon, killing 17 people and injuring five others.