6 dead in China quarantine hotel collapses

At least six people are dead and 28 remain missing after a hotel being used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in the Chinese city of Quanzhou collapsed on Saturday.

Rescue workers are still searching the rubble of the five-storey Xinjia Hotel in the southern province of Fujian.

Seventy-one people were in the building when it collapsed and dozens have been rescued, authorities say.

It is not clear what caused the collapse on Saturday evening.

State media say the hotel was being used as a quarantine facility monitoring people who had had close contact with coronavirus patients. It’s reported 58 of the 71 people in the building were under quarantine.

The building’s first floor had been undergoing renovation before the Lunar New Year, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that police had summoned the building’s owner.

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

The city of Quanzhou has recorded 47 cases of the virus, which first emerged in the city of Wuhan, about 1,000km away.

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.” -BBC

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