The Xinjia Express Hotel is located in Quanzhou, which is part of the southeastern province of Fujian.
The building collapsed shortly after 7 p.m. local time. Thirty-four people had been rescued by about 10:30 p.m. local time the Ministry of Emergency Management told the South China Morning Post.
The People’s Daily tweeted video footage of the collapsed building as the rescue mission progressed.
“#BREAKING: A hotel building collapsed in Quanzhou, SE China’s Fujian at around 7 pm Saturday, trapping an unknown number of people under it. So far 16 people have been rescued. Rescue work remains underway,” they wrote, beginning a thread of updates on the rescue count.
A man identified as Mr. Wu, who lives opposite the hotel told Chinese news outlet Mnw.cn that he thought the collapse was actually an explosion. He was eating dinner when the collapse happened and ran to his balcony to see the entire building had crumbled.
He also saw a person being pulled from the rubble as the authorities including the police and fire department arrived to help.
Reuters reported there was no reason given for the collapse.
The 80-room hotel had been converted by the city government for observation of people who had contact with coronavirus patients, according to People’s Daily.
China, where the new virus first emerged in December, has confirmed more than 80,000 cases, by far the most in the world.
China reported 99 new cases on Saturday, its first daily increase of less than 100 since Jan. 20. The government reported 28 new fatalities, raising the mainland death toll to 3,070.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
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