Survivor found six days after China building collapse as death toll climbs to 26

Disaster in the city of Changsha has left at least five people dead

Rescuers evacuate a woman pulled alive from a collapsed building in Changsha, in central China's Hunan Province, on May 1. Another woman was rescued more than 132 hours after it collapsed. Xinhua/AP

A woman has been pulled out alive from rubble almost six days after a building partially collapsed in China, state media reported on Thursday.

The disaster in the city of Changsha killed at least 26 people, with dozens thought to be missing.

The woman, who is the 10th survivor of the inicident, was rescued shortly after midnight on Thursday — about 132 hours after the rear of the six-storey building suddenly caved in on April 29 — China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Teams used dogs, hand tools, drones and electronic life detectors in the search, the report said. The woman was conscious and advised rescuers on how to pull her out without causing further injury.

At least nine have been arrested, including the building's owner, on suspicion of ignoring building codes, among other violations, after the collapse of what Xinhua described as a “self-built building”.

Three people in charge of design and construction were also arrested, while five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors were held, AP reported.

The site of the collapsed self-constructed residential building in Changsha. Xinhua/AP

The building also housed a residence, cafe and shops.

An increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to call last month for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.

Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for such disasters. China also suffers from decaying infrastructure, such as gas pipes, that has led to explosions and collapses.

Updated: May 05, 2022, 2:20 PM