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Beijing, March 8, 2020
At least six people were killed in China after a multi-storeyed hotel used as a quarantine centre for coronavirus victims collapsed, the media reported on Sunday.
Authorities had reported that 71 people were trapped under the rubble of the building after it collapsed on Saturday evening in Quanzhou city, Fujian province, Efe news quoted the media reports as saying.
On Sunday, Xinhua news agency said that 42 people had been pulled out by 10.30 a.m. More than 20 were still feared trapped under the rubble.
Rescue teams consisting of around 1,000 personnel continue to look for victims at the site.
Video footage aired by local broadcasters showed the building completely destroyed on one side with a large dust cloud engulfing the area.
The structure has been identified as Hotel Xinjia, which along with other large-scale hospitality and sports facilities in the country had been turned into an observation centRE for monitoring suspected COVID-19 patients from nearby areas.
The reasons for the hotel's collapse were not immediately clear, while the police have summoned its owner for questioning, according to the official Global Times newspaper.
China has enforced a series of stringent measures to check the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed at least 3,097 people and infected 80,695 in the country.
Provisional hospitals have been constructed in record time and buildings meant for other uses have been taken over for the fight against the disease.