Police Arrest 9 After Building Collapses in Central China | Business and finance

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police arrested a building owner and eight others on Sunday, two days after the structure collapsed, leaving dozens of people trapped or missing, police and state media said. State.

The official Xinhua news agency said the owner of the building was among those arrested. Changsha City police said they also arrested three people responsible for design and construction and five others for what they said was a false safety assessment of a guest house located on the fourth to sixth floors. stage.

A woman was rescued and taken to hospital in stable condition, state broadcaster CCTV said on Sunday, bringing the total number of people rescued to six. Twenty of them remained trapped and 39 others had not been found on Saturday evening.

In photos, the building appeared to have collapsed to around the second floor, leaving rubble strewn across the pavement. He was in a row of about six-story buildings in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province.

Xinhua said the building has eight floors, including a restaurant on the second floor, a cafe on the third floor and residences on the top two floors. Other media said it was a six-story building. Tenants made structural changes to the building, but the cause of the collapse remains under investigation, Xinhua said.

Police said the Hunan Xiangda Engineering Testing Co. released the fake safety report on April 13. Among those arrested were the company’s legal representative and four technicians suspected of providing the assessment.

Following an increase in the number of collapses of self-constructed buildings in recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that it was necessary to check these structures for any hidden dangers and repair them to avoid major accidents, he said. said Xinhua.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use rebar, is often blamed for such disasters.

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