Chinese hotel used to observe virus contacts collapses

A hotel used to keep people who had contact with coronavirus patients under medical observation has collapsed in south-eastern China, trapping some 70 people, state media reported.

There were no immediate reports of deaths after the incident on Saturday evening.

At least 33 people were rescued from the wreckage of the Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhou, a city in Fujian province, according to several outlets including the Xinhua News Agency.

The 80-room hotel had been converted by the city government for the observation of people who had contact with virus patients, the People's Daily said.

The hotel collapsed at about 7.30pm local time (11.30am GMT), news reports said, citing the city government.

Photos on news websites showed rescue workers with torches climbing over the debris. Rubble was piled on top of cars in front of the building.

Hotel collapse
Rescuers evacuate an injured person from the rubble (Chinatopix/AP)

The hotel opened in June 2018, with rooms on the fourth to seventh floors of the building, the newspaper Beijing Youth Daily said.

An unidentified hotel employee cited by the paper said the owner carried out "foundation-related construction" before the disaster.