China: Eleven people died after a shoe factory collapsed in eastern China, state media reported Sunday, with more than 40 escaping on their own or being rescued.
The China News website said several hundred firefighters were involved in the rescue. More than 50 workers were in the building in the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province when it came down on Saturday afternoon, state-run China Central Television (CCTV) and the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Thirty-three suffered injuries, four of them serious, the report said. Nine others escaped and three were unaccounted for.
Photos circulating on Chinese social media showed a man being carried on a stretcher by what appeared to be police officers, while rescuers and other personnel stood on top of the rubble.
The China Daily newspaper said a large pool built on the factory’s roof was believed to be the cause.
Building collapses and other industrial accidents are not uncommon in China, where many structures and facilities are old, safety procedures can be lax and rebuilding has not kept up with the country’s remarkable economic growth.
In January last year, 14 workers were killed in a fire at a shoe factory in the city. It is not known if the incident was at the same facility as the latest incident.
China’s top safety watchdog in May blamed poor construction and weak safety standards for a fire at a nursing home that left 38 people dead.
In April, almost 30,000 people were evacuated after a fire broke out in a Chinese chemical plant which blazed for nearly 50 hours before the flames were finally extinguished.