At least 25 die as dormitory topples

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 1997, 12:00am

More than 100 people were buried when a dormitory collapsed in Fujian province, state television reported last night.

So far 103 victims had been recovered and at least 25 were certified dead, the television report said.

Rescue workers were still digging last night and the final death toll and casualty figures from Tuesday night's disaster were certain to rise.

Police were still investigating the cause of the accident in Putian. The dormitory was said to belong to an electronics factory run by Hong Kong investors.

More than 800 Public Security officials and soldiers were mobilised for the rescue operation. Television footage showed rescue workers ferrying unconscious victims to hospitals.

Bulldozers were used to remove large chunks of debris and the rescue operation went on throughout the night.

Survivors were sent to four hospitals. A staff member at Pingmin Hospital said last night that they had taken in 14 victims with most suffering broken bones.

Official reports said the dormitory crumbled at around 7.30 pm on Tuesday.

Fujian Party Secretary Chen Mingyi and acting Governor He Guoqiang inspected the scene yesterday and visited victims in hospital.

Television reports said a special team had been set up to search for survivors. Extra medical staff had been summoned to hospitals to look after the victims.

Mr Chen reportedly promised a thorough investigation and said action would be taken against anyone found responsible for the collapse.