A mother and her 10-year-old son have been rescued from the collapse of a coronavirus quarantine site in southeastern China after being trapped beneath the rubble for 52 hours.
Rescuers pulled the two from the debris around midnight Monday after three hours of digging. Photos and video from the scene showed the pair covered in dust as they were rushed into ambulances.
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As rescue efforts continued Tuesday, the death toll rose to 20, with 10 people still missing.
There were 71 people inside the hotel in the city of Quanzhou, in southeastern Fujian Province, when the building collapsed on Saturday. The hotel was being used as a quarantine site for those infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Two supermarkets on the first floor were being remodeled, and a pillar reportedly deformed a few minutes before the collapse, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday, quoting a district official.
The building had been illegally reconstructed several times, an unidentified senior official said Tuesday, according to the news agency. Construction of the building began in 2013 and it was converted into an express hotel in 2018.
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Shang Yong, deputy head of the Ministry of Emergency Management, said a comprehensive accident investigation will be launched to identify the cause of the collapse, and any official found responsible would be held to account.
Rescuers have been issued protective gear and disinfectant to minimize exposure to the virus.
The new coronavirus first exploded across mainland China last year, where more than 80,000 cases have been confirmed to date. There have been more than 3,100 deaths since the outbreak.
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Of the 80,000 confirmed cases, about 74 percent, or 60,000 people, have recovered so far.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.