A hotel in coastal China collapsed Monday afternoon, leaving 8 dead and 9 unaccounted for as the 3-story building disintegrated into rubble, multiple sources reported.
The cause of the destruction of the Siji Kaiyuan budget hotel is yet unknown as the Ministry of Emergency Management has deployed workers to search for survivors and clear the debris, Reuters reported. With over 600 workers assigned to the devastated building, provincial officials have determined that there were 23 victims caught up in the collapse, according to Newsweek.
Although the 3-story building was a part of a larger complex, the individual structure was mostly annihilated in the collapse. This made the rescue “very difficult,” Chen Zhi’ang, a provincial fire service official, told reporters, according to Newsweek. “The structure was crushed into pieces.”
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) July 7, 2021
The tragedy unfolded only weeks after the Surfside condominium collapse in Miami, a disaster which killed 95 residents, including a baby, ABC South Florida reported. The Chinese government reacted with harsh criticism to the catastrophe, contrasting the American response to the condo’s destruction with China’s previous responses to such emergencies. (RELATED: Miami Courthouse Shut Down Over Safety Concerns Following Surfside Condo Collapse)
The director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Information Department, Hua Chunying, took to Twitter July 7 to call such a calamity “unthinkable” in China, Newsweek reported. Another diplomat reportedly wrote July 3, “America is coming back!’ But none of the people buried in the ruins has come back!!!”
The Siji Kaiyuan originally opened in 2018 with 54 rooms, Reuters reported.
The hotel has changed ownership several times prior to this recent reopening, while possibly undergoing structural modifications, as well, according to Newsweek. Officials say these alterations might be linked to its collapse.