At least 17 people have been killed after a two-storey restaurant in China collapsed during a gathering on Saturday morning, the country’s state media said.
The official Xinhua News Agency said 28 others were injured in the accident, with 21 among them reported to be in a serious condition.
The restaurant was located in Shanxi province’s Xiangfen county, about 630km (400 miles) southwest of capital Beijing.
Hundreds of rescue workers, wearing hardhats and face masks, searched for trapped people in a daylong operation.
A video posted by China Central Television showed them hefting heavy pieces of concrete. At least once, the remaining frame of the building shook but did not fall.
While the cause of the disaster was not immediately clear, China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly construction accidents.
They are typically blamed on the country’s rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.
In March, at least 10 people died after a hotel building being used to quarantine people under observation for the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Quanzhou collapsed.
In 2019, a commercial building undergoing renovation collapsed in Shanghai, killing at least 10 people.
Some 20 people were killed in 2016 when a series of crudely-constructed multi-storey buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in the eastern city of Wenzhou.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera/ NEWS AGENCIES