A Chinese restaurant had collapsed during an 80th birthday party, with 29 persons dead and dozens injured.
The cause of the collapse could not be immediately ascertained as it is still under investigation.
According to a statement by China’s Ministry of Emergency Management, the building crumbled around 9:40 a.m. Saturday in a village in Xiangfen county in the province of Shanxi, about 400 miles (630 kilometers) southwest of Beijing.
Hundreds of rescuers searched the rubble and broken slabs of concrete, using sniffer dogs, cranes, and high-tech sensors.
After day long rescue efforts, 29 persons were confirmed dead and another 28 injured, seven of them seriously.
The Shanxi provincial government appointed a team to investigate the accident.
While China has seen major improvements in industrial safety, building standards are sometimes ignored, particularly in rural areas such as Xiangfen county.
The region lies in the heart of China’s coal country, where thousands of miners have died in explosions, collapses, and floods over the years.
Residents said the restaurant was originally a one-storey building constructed over 20 years ago with prefabricated panels.
Provincial authorities reportedly launched inspections of all public buildings on Saturday.
Buildings that do not meet safety requirements or found built with illegal construction would be forced to close until the proper standards were met.
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