17 killed after houses collapse in Zhejiang province of China

BEIJING,Oct11: At least 17 people were killed on Monday when four multi-storey residential buildings packed with migrant workers collapsed in eastern China’s coastal Zhejiang Province.
The six-storey buildings collapsed in Wenzhou’s Lucheng industrial district and rescuers were verifying the number of people trapped under the debris.
Seventeen people were confirmed dead, local govt officials said.
Earlier on Monday, rescuers pulled out six people alive from under the debris, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Rescuers said the buildings that collapsed were built by villagers themselves. Five adjacent houses built in the 1970s remain standing, but rescuers demolished them to avoid any chance of secondary accidents.
Sun Jing, an officer with the city’s fire department, said the debris were as high as a three-story building. “To protect those who are trapped, we are mainly digging with our bare hands.”
According to Zhou Liqiang, who has been living nearby for over 10 years, the victims were mainly migrant workers.
Survivor Yan Yongfa, 57, said he shared one room with four other workers and their boss rented the room for them.
Each room in the collapsed building used to have two to three tenants, the report quoted Yan as saying.

The cause of the collapse was under investigation.
Several buildings have collapsed in recent years in China mainly due to poor construction.

BEIJING: It was the Thai government that made a decision to block the entry to Thailand of a Hong Kong student activist last week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday.
Bespectacled Joshua Wong, 19, who helped organise pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014, was detained in Bangkok where he had been invited to speak at universities about Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement” protests and on setting up his political party.
The case raised fresh questions about mainland interference in Hong Kong, which though part of China is meant to enjoy considerable autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula, and about Chinese influence on Thailand’s military government.
Asked about the case, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said China was consistent when it came to respecting other countries’ sovereignty, no matter how big or small the country is.
“As for Joshua Wong, him not being allowed into Thailand, this was the Thai government’s decision made in accordance with its relevant immigration rules and laws,” Li added, without elaborating.
Thailand’s Nation newspaper last week quoted a deputy commander of airport immigration police, Colonel Pruthipong Prayoonsiri, as saying China had sent a request “to seek cooperation to deny” Wong entry.
But Pruthipong later told Reuters he had not spoken to the newspaper, did not know if Wong had been blacklisted and declined further comment