SHANGHAI: About 70 people were trapped on Saturday after a five-storey hotel being used for coronavirus quarantine collapsed in the port city of Quanzhou in southeast China, state media said.
A live video stream posted by the government-backed Beijing News site showed rescue workers in orange overalls clambering over mounds of rubble and carrying people towards ambulances gathered around the site.
Beijing News said the Quanzhou Xinjia Hotel had been five storeys high.
It collapsed at about 7.30pm and 34 people were rescued in the following two hours, the Quanzhou municipality said on its website.
No reason was given for the collapse.
A woman named only by her surname, Chen, told the news site that relatives including her sister had been under quarantine at the hotel as prescribed by local regulations after returning from Hubei province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.
She said they had arrived on Feb 25 and had been scheduled to leave soon after completing their 14 days of quarantine.
“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.”
The official People’s Daily said the hotel had opened in June 2018 with 80 rooms.
Quanzhou is a port city on the Taiwan Strait in the province of Fujian with a population of more than 8 million.
The Fujian provincial government said that as of Friday, the province had 296 cases of coronavirus and 10,819 people had been placed under observation after being classified as suspected close contacts.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the committee responsible for working safety under the State Council, China’s cabinet, has sent an emergency working team to the site.