Breaking News! Coronavirus Quarantine Hotel In China Collapses, Patients Still Trapped Inside
The Quanzhou Xinjia Hotel, a designated quarantine facility in eastern China collapsed on Saturday evening (March 7th
) , trapping more than 70 odd coronavirus patients, the state media reported.
There was footage circulating on microblogging platform Weibo showed rescue workers combing through the rubble of the 80-room hotel in coastal Quanzhou city in the dark as they reassured a woman trapped under heavy debris and carried wounded victims into ambulances.
By early Sunday morning, about 47 badly injured patients had been rescued while the rest are feared dead.
From photographs, the hotel’s facade appeared to have crumbled into the ground, exposing the building’s steel frame, and a crowd gathered as the evening wore on.
The hotel collapsed at about 7.30pm on Saturday.
A witness said in a video posted on the Miaopai streaming app. “I was at a gas station and heard a loud noise. I looked up and the whole building collapsed.
Dust was everywhere, and glass fragments were flying around. I was so terrified that my hands and legs were shivering.”
A individual identified only by the surname Chen, told the Beijing News website that relatives including her sister had been under quarantine at the hotel as prescribed by local regulations after returning from Hubei province, where the coronavirus emerged. She said they had been scheduled to leave soon after completing their 14 days of isolation. She said, “I can’t contact them, they’re not answering their phones. 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.”
To date, Quanzhou has recorded just 47 cases of the Covid-19 infection and the hotel, which opened just two years ago, was recently repurposed to house people who had been in recent contact with confirmed patients, the People’s Daily state newspaper reported.
The city said 36 emergency rescue vehicles such as cranes and excavators, 67 firefighting vehicles, 15 ambulances, and more than 700 firefighters, medical and other rescue workers were at the scene as the operation stretched into the night.
The city, Quanzhou is a port city on the Taiwan Strait in the province of Fujian with a population of more than eight million.
Many online users demanded a investigation into how the hotel could have collapsed.
Typically, China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly
construction accidents, which are typically blamed on the country’s rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.
In 2016, at least 20 people died when a series of crudely-constructed multi-storey buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou. Another 10 were killed last year in Shanghai after the collapse of a commercial building during renovations.
Already anger has been building up against the authorities in China over their early handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 3,300 people globally, most of them in China.
As of Friday, the Fujian provincial government the province had 296 cases of coronavirus and 10,819 people had been placed under observation after being classified as suspected close contacts.
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