BEIJING (AP) – A collapse in a building in central China a week ago killed 53 people, state media reported on Friday when a search for a large pile of wreckage ended after rescuers found 10 survivors.
Authorities said at a news conference that all the missing had been found as of 3 a.m., the state-run CCTV reported online.
A residential and commercial building in Changsha City suddenly collapsed on the afternoon of April 29th. Aerial photographs showed that it is located on about the second floor between other buildings about six stories high. At least nine people have been arrested on suspicion of ignoring building codes or other violations.
In a few days, the survivors were pulled out from under the rubble. The 10th and last were pulled out shortly after midnight on Thursday, 5 and a half days after the collapse. All survivors were reported to be in good condition after hospital treatment.
Among those arrested were the owner of the building, three people responsible for the design and construction, and five others who allegedly gave a false assessment of the safety of the guest house from the fourth to sixth floors of the building. The building also had living quarters, a café and a restaurant.
Rescuers used search dogs, hand tools, drones and electronic life detectors.
In a story about the rescue of the eighth survivor on Monday, state media said rescuers encountered an unstable pile of rubble that they had to bypass rather than demolish. Before the rescue, they were able to provide video equipment to contact the girl and establish that one of her legs was pinched. They also fed her saline so she drank.
The growing number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years has prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to call for additional inspections to identify design flaws.
Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of additional floors and the non-use of reinforcing bars, are often blamed for such disasters. Dilapidated infrastructure, such as gas pipes, has also led to explosions and landslides.
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