10 dead, 23 missing after China hotel used for coronavirus quarantine collapses

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BEIJING (AP/CNN) — At least 10 people were killed and another 23 remain missing after a hotel being used in China’s coronavirus fight suddenly collapsed.

Authorities said Sunday that 71 people had been trapped following the collapse of the building in the city of Quanzhou the previous evening. Firefighters working through the night and into the next day have rescued 38 people.

The hotel was housing people who had come from areas hit hard by the epidemic. All of them had tested negative. Chinese cities are isolating people from hard-hit areas for 14 days.

At the time of the collapse, 58 people were under quarantine in the hotel; there were also 16 hotel staff and six car dealership employees on site.

Workers called the owner around 7 p.m. local time on Saturday and told him a pillar had became distorted during construction, according to Xinhua. The building collapsed a few minutes later.

The building’s owner is in police custody, according to state news agency Xinhua.

The hotel was a seven-story steel structure, built in 2013 and converted to a hotel in 2018, according to Xinhua. The owner began renovating the first floor in January. It is unclear at this time if the building collapsed due to structural issues or renovation work.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

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