US & World

Coronavirus: Dozens trapped as China quarantine hotel collapses

Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou, in China's eastern Fujian province on 7 March 2020.Image copyright AFP
Image caption The hotel’s facade appeared to have crumbled into the ground, exposing the building’s steel frame

About 70 people have been trapped after a hotel being used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in the Chinese city of Quanzhou collapsed.

About 35 people have been pulled from the rubble of the five-storey Xinjia Hotel, officials say.

Videos posted online show emergency workers combing through the building’s wreckage in the southern province of Fujian.

It is not clear what caused the collapse or if anyone has died.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Rescue workers in orange overalls clamber over the rubble as they look for survivors
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The hotel reportedly had 80 guest rooms

It happened at about 19:30 local time (11:30 GMT).

Chinese state media says the hotel was being used as a quarantine facility monitoring people who had had close contact with coronavirus patients.

The hotel reportedly opened in 2018 and had 80 guest rooms.

One woman told the Beijing News website that relatives including her sister had been under quarantine there.

“I can’t contact them, they’re not answering their phones,” she said.

“I’m under quarantine too [at another hotel] and I’m very worried, I don’t know what to do. They were healthy, they took their temperatures every day, and the tests showed that everything was normal.”

As of Friday, Fujian province had 296 cases of coronavirus. Meanwhile 10,819 people have been placed under observation because they have been in close contact with someone infected.

The World Health Organization says more than 101,000 people worldwide have now contracted the virus.

More than 3,000 people have died – the majority in the Chinese province of Hubei where the outbreak originated.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51784167

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