A hotel that was being used as a coronavirus quarantine centre in China has collapsed, leaving 70 people trapped.
The five-storey building in Fujian province was being used to house and observe people who had come into contact with Covid-19 patients when it collapsed at around 7:30pm local time.
At least 34 people have so far been rescued from the wreckage of the Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhou, according to local officials.
Nearly 150 firefighters are thought to be engaged in the rescue operation. Footage shared to social media shows emergency service workers clambering among the rubble and using powerful torches to search for survivors.
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 was just having dinner and I suddenly heard a loud bang and thought it was an explosion. It was not until I ran to my balcony that I saw that the entire hotel building had collapsed.”,” a man told South China Morning Post (SCMP)
China, where the new virus first emerged in December, has confirmed more than 80,000 cases, by far the most in the world.
China reported 99 new cases on Saturday, its first daily increase of less than 100 since 20 January. The government reported 28 new fatalities, raising the mainland death toll to 3,070.