Ten dead after Chinese hotel used to observe virus contacts collapses

At least 10 people were killed and another 23 are missing after a hotel being used in China's coronavirus fight suddenly collapsed.

Four people have died after a hotel used to keep people who had contact with coronavirus patients under medical observation collapsed.

All of them had tested negative.

State media reported 71 people were trapped in the sudden collapse in south-eastern China.

At least 38 people were rescued from the wreckage of the Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhou, a city in Fujian province, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The five-storey building is located in Quanzhou city in south-east China’s Fujian province Credit: Chinatopix/AP

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The 80-room hotel had been converted by the city government for the observation of people who had contact with virus patients, the People’s Daily said.

The hotel collapsed at about 7.30pm local time (11.30am GMT), news reports said, citing the city government.

More than 1,000 firefighters and seven rescue dogs were dispatched to the site, according to the ministry. News photos showed rescue workers with flashlights climbing over the debris and bringing people out. Rubble was left piled on cars in front of the building.

Rescuers evacuate an injured person from the rubble Credit: Chinatopix/AP

The city government said it was housing people who had come from coronavirus-hit areas. Most parts of China are quarantining people from such areas for 14 days.

China, where the virus first emerged in December, has confirmed more than 80,000 cases, by far the most in the world.

It reported 44 new cases over the last 24 hours on Sunday morning, the lowest level since it began publishing nationwide figures on Jan 20. Another 27 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 3,097.

Most of the cases have been in Wuhan, an inland city about 670 kilometers (475 miles) northwest of Quanzhou.

The hotel opened in June 2018, with rooms on the fourth to seventh floors of the building, the newspaper Beijing Youth Daily said.

An unidentified hotel employee cited by the paper said the owner carried out “foundation-related construction” before the disaster.