Loss of life toll rises to 17 in partial collapse of China lodge By Reuters

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© Reuters. Rescue workers work on the spot where a hotel building collapsed in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, July 12, 2021. Image from July 12, 2021. China Daily via REUTERS

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BEIJING (Reuters) – The death toll in the partial collapse of a budget hotel in the east Chinese city of Suzhou on Monday rose to 17, state media said on Wednesday.

Of the 23 people trapped in the rubble of the Siji Kaiyuan Hotel in Suzhou, only six survived, according to state media.

More than 650 people were involved in the search and rescue operation, which concluded Wednesday morning.

The Jiangsu provincial government has set up a team to conduct an in-depth investigation into the specific causes of the collapse.

The Siji Kaiyuan opened in 2018 and, according to online booking sites, had a total of 54 rooms. The collapsed part of the hotel was three stories high.

According to some state media reports, it was initially determined that the collapse was caused by the property owner’s renovation of the hotel structure.

A hotel guest who checked out on Monday shortly before the collapse spoke of loud drilling noises and the sound of sand shoveling, according to toe Beijing Youth Daily.

The building was shaking, said the guest.

Cities in Jiangsu have since held an emergency meeting on the security of existing building structures, calling for stricter inspection and surveillance.

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