China restaurant collapses, at least 17 dead

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The collapse of a building that houses a restaurant in China on Saturday left at least 17 people dead, with relief efforts continuing to search to try to save possible people still buried, official media said.

The tragedy occurred around 9:40 am local time in Xiangfen in the province of Shanxi (north), according to the new China agency, which quotes the authorities.

By early evening, 45 people had been taken out of the rubble, including 17 dead, seven seriously injured and 21 more lightly affected, according to the same source.

Videos broadcast by public television CCTV show firefighters in orange uniforms, soldiers in fatigues and ordinary locals clearing concrete blocks by hand or with iron bars.

The building had two levels, a ground floor and a second floor. It appears in Chinese media images totally gutted, with entire sections of walls collapsed in the middle of the old dining room.

The cause of the collapse was not immediately known.

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