BEIJING: At least 17 people died after a two-storey restaurant in northern China collapsed during a gathering on Saturday morning (Aug 29), state media said, with rescuers pulling dozens of survivors from the rubble and searching for others believed to be trapped.
The building is located in Shanxi province's Xiangfen county, about 630km southwest of Beijing.
Xinhua news agency reported that "45 people have been brought out, of which 17 were dead, seven seriously injured and 21 slightly injured".
Rescuers in orange overalls and hard hats combed the crumbled ruin of the building, images on broadcaster CGTN's website showed, with a decorative painting seen on one of the few walls still intact.
About 700 people were involved in the rescue operation, CGTN said.
Video posted by China Central Television showed them hefting heavy pieces of concrete. At least once, the remaining frame of the building shook but did not fall.
While the cause of the disaster was not immediately clear, China is no stranger to building collapses and deadly construction accidents.
They are typically blamed on the country's rapid growth leading to corner-cutting by builders and the widespread flouting of safety rules.