Twenty-nine people were killed when a two-storey restaurant collapsed during an 80th birthday party in a northern Chinese village on Saturday.
The Ministry of Emergency Management said another 28 people were injured, seven of them seriously, when the building suddenly crumbled in Xiangfen county, Shanxi.
There was no immediate word on what caused the collapse or on the fate of the birthday guest and other celebrants.
Hundreds of rescue workers using sniffer dogs, cranes and high-tech sensors searched the rubble, lifting slabs of concrete in hopes of freeing survivors.
The China Daily newspaper said the building collapsed at 9.40 am on Saturday. It said the Cabinet’s Work Safety Commission would oversee the investigation into the accident’s cause.
While China has seen major improvements in industrial safety, building standards are sometimes ignored, particularly in rural areas such as Xiangfen county, about 630 kilometres (400 miles) southwest of Beijing, where the restaurant was located.
The region lies in the heart of China’s coal country, where thousands of miners have died in explosions, collapses and floods over the years.
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