A mid-range hotel collapsed in Suzhou this afternoon and relief efforts are continuing

One person is dead and 10 people are missing after a hotel collapsed in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou. The hotel may have been a 3 or 4 star hotel. Details of the condition of the guests living in the hotel at the time of the collapse are unknown. Rescue efforts are continuing.

One person is tentatively reported dead and 10 are missing after a hotel collapsed in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou. According to the Suzhou mayor’s office on the social network Weibo, “Rescue operations are continuing and an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the tragedy.” The tragedy occurred at 3:33 p.m. local time, according to AFP.

The same source said seven people were rescued from the rubble of the hotel, known as the Four Seasons Kaiyuan Hotel, with three of them in a critical condition.

The mid-range hotel had opened in 2018 and included 54 rooms, as well as a ballroom, according to Chinese travel booking site Ctrip.

It was unclear whether the entire hotel collapsed or only part of the building, AFP said. Dozens of rescuers wearing orange jumpsuits and helmets worked next to a pile of debris, according to images broadcast by the official CCTV. In other photos, shards of glass could be seen scattered around rescuers and pipes protruded from parts of the building that still appeared to be standing.

According to sources, more than 500 firefighters were dispatched to the scene of the disaster to carry out rescue operations.

Other videos posted by people on social media showed shocked onlookers watching the action, with some capturing the scene on their smartphones.

Suzhou is known for its classical gardens and has a rich historical and architectural heritage that attracts many tourists, the report said. The city of more than 12 million people, whose numerous canals have sometimes earned it the nickname “Venice of the East,” is located about 80 kilometers west of Shanghai.

According to AFP, building collapses are a frequent occurrence in China. Most investigations that followed pointed to problems with tofu-dreg projects that did not meet building standards. in March 2020, a hotel requisitioned as a quarantine facility for the Covid-19 outbreak collapsed in the eastern coastal city of Quanzhou, killing 29 people. During an investigation, authorities found that three floors had been illegally added to the building, which originally had four floors.

The year before that, a commercial building under renovation collapsed in Shanghai, killing about 10 people, and in 2016, at least 20 people died when the modest multi-story building housing workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou. More recently, in May, one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen, Century Square, shook, causing scenes of panic and leading to the evacuation of the building.