Seventeen people were confirmed dead after a hotel collapsed in Suzhou in Jaingsu province of eastern China. After 36 hours of search operations, rescue workers found 23 people buried in the debris, six of whom were found alive. Preliminary investigations found that collapse was caused by an unauthorized renovation, according to the government of Wujiang District, where the hotel is located. The Siji Kaiyuan is a budget hotel that opened in 2018. The hotel is said to have undergone frequent renovations in recent years. “The building used to have only three floors, but over the years they have been adding extra floors,” as per media reports. The accident took place on Monday, trapping 23 people.
The Jiangsu Provincial Government said an investigations team was looking into the accident, adding that “relevant individuals” would face criminal charges. More than 600 rescue workers were deployed to the spot.
There were initially believed to be 18 people in the 54-room hotel at the time of the collapse, but it was later revealed there were five unregistered guests inside according to media reports. Out of the six people found alive, five are said to be injured but in stable condition. One person suffered no injuries.
Building collapses in China are often due to poor construction standards or corruption. In March 2020, the collapse of a quarantine hotel in Fujian province in southern China killed 29 people. A probe into the collapse later found that three floors had been added illegally to the building’s original four-storey structure as per state media.