Rescuers were racing to find survivors after a building housing businesses collapsed on Friday in the central Chinese city of Changsha, state media reported.

The six-storey structure, which collapsed around noon, was home to a restaurant, a guesthouse and a cinema, broadcaster CCTV said.

building collapsed in Changsha
A building collapse in Changsha, Hunan, China, on April 29, 2022. Photo: Weibo.

Videos published by local media showed a large cloud of dust rising into the air over the adjacent street, as well as crumpled railings and a mound of debris where the building had stood.

No casualties have been reported so far, though state-owned CGTN said people were trapped in the rubble and “a rescue operation is under way”.

CCTV said “fire and emergency response department workers have rushed to the scene” and “the specific casualty situation is under investigation”.

Building collapses are not uncommon in China, due to weak safety standards and corruption among officials tasked with enforcement.

In January, an explosion triggered by a suspected gas leak brought down a building in the city of Chongqing, killing more than a dozen people.

And 25 people were killed in a gas blast that ripped through a residential compound in June 2021, also striking a busy two-storey building packed with shoppers.

The same month, 18 people were killed and more injured when a fire broke out at a martial arts school, with state media reporting that all the victims were boarding school pupils.

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