More than 50 dead in China building collapse as search for survivors ends

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A total of 53 people died and 10 were rescued after last week’s building collapse in central China, the country’s state media has said.

Authorities said on Friday the search had ended for people trapped from the collapse.

The last survivor was pulled out shortly after midnight on Thursday, five-and-a-half days after the residential and commercial building in the city of Changsha suddenly caved in on April 29.

At least nine people have been arrested in connection with the collapse on suspicion of ignoring building codes or committing other violations.

All of the survivors were reportedly in good condition after being treated in a hospital.

The arrested include the building owner, three people in charge of design and construction and five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.

Rescuers used search dogs, hand tools, drones and electronic life detectors to find survivors.

In an account of Monday’s rescue of the eighth survivor, state media said rescuers faced an unstable pile of rubble that they had to work around rather than demolish.

Prior to the rescue, they were able to feed in video equipment to communicate with the girl and establish that one of her legs was trapped. They also fed in saline solution for her to drink.

An increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to call for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.

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