Police Arrest Nine Over Building Collapse in China

Chinese police arrested nine people on May 1 over the collapse of a building in the southeast city of Changsha in Hunan province.

Police said on social media that officers detained the owner of the building and three other people responsible for its design and construction on suspicion of “major responsibility for an accident.”

Police added that officers also arrested another five, who are all members of a private building inspection firm, for writing a false safety report for the building.

The six-story building, which housed apartments, a hotel, and a cinema in the Wangcheng District, collapsed on April 29 afternoon, trapping dozens of people.

At least six people have been rescued so far, but dozens remain trapped inside or are missing, according to Changsha Mayor Zheng Jianxin.

Jianxin said on April 29 that 700 first responders were deployed to the scene.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong led a emergency response team to the scene, state broadcaster CGTN reported.

Authorities have yet to confirm a cause to the collapse.

State media reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a search “at all cost” and ordered a thorough investigation.

In a video conference on April 30 morning, Emergency Management Minister Huang Ming called for inspection of work safety to prevent similar incidents in the future.

A local fire department official told CGTN that limited space for heavy machines to lift away debris was hampering rescue efforts.

The official also said that adjacent buildings likely to collapse due to damage sustained in the incident.

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