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Saturday, March 7, 2020

China: ‘Coronavirus Quarantine’ Hotel Collapses, Trapping More Than 70 people


Up to 70 people were trapped following the collapse of a hotel in eastern China. The building was being used to quarantine those suspected of having COVID-19. Rescue efforts are ongoing, with over half saved.

Hotel Collapses

Around 70 people were trapped after a hotel collapsed in eastern Fujian province in China on Saturday evening.

Xinjia Hotel in Quanzhou had been used as a quarantine center for people suspected of having coronavirus.

The collapse happened at around 7:30 p.m local time (1130 UTC), authorities said.

Four hours after the collapse, Quanzhou authorities said that more than 40 of the 70 people who had been in the hotel had been rescued. Dozens more were still trapped.


Rescue efforts were ongoing. The reason for the collapse has not yet been made public. Federal authorities have sent an emergency working team to the site.

Hotel Collapses

'I can't contact them'

Rescue efforts were expected to continue through the night.

"I can't contact them, they're not answering their phones," a relative told Reuters news agency.

"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."

Quanzhou

Quanzhou, a city of 8 million, lies in Fujian province on the mainland side of the Taiwan Strait. The 80-room hotel opened in June 2018 and had a 4.5-star rating on Trip.com.

The province of Fujian had 296 cases of coronavirus and 10,819 people had been placed under observation after being classified as suspected close contacts.

The city is around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Wuhan in Hubei province, where the global COVID-19 outbreak began.

[By DW]

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