22 dead as ramshackle migrant housing complex disintegrates in China

Twenty-two people are known to have died so far in the overnight collapse of ramshackle multi-storey buildings housing migrant workers in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou.

The horrific collapse happened at 4am local time on Monday, 10 October, in a row of buildings slated for demolition that were built by locals in the 1970s, state media reported.

Nearly 800 rescuers raced against the clock yesterday with excavators, life-detection equipment and dogs to search for survivors under the debris, reported Xinhua, via China Daily.

As of 1:12am on 11 October 28 people had been pulled out, but only six, including a 6-year-old girl, were alive, according to the district government.

Neighbours told reporters that the four collapsed buildings were three to five storeys in height and had been built by local residents in the 1970s. This area was put on an official demolition list some years ago but some buildings still housed migrant workers, who were renting rooms at just $32 per month, Xinhua reported.

"They lost their lives to take advantage of cheap rent. It is horrible," one witness to the disaster, Guo Lin, told Xinhua.

According to local officials the collapse damaged dilapidated buildings nearby, and rescue teams were dividing their time by pulling these down to avert more danger.

Image: Rescuers search for survivors after four buildings collapsed at 4am, 10 October 2016, in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, China (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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