Video Credit: AsiaWire
These are the scenes taken inside a crowded shopping centre where over 1,000 square feet of ceiling collapsed on shoppers and staff members on a Saturday night.
Government officials in Qujing City, which is in south-western China’s Yunnan Province, say a man and two women were crushed under rubble at Mega Qilin Commercial Plaza.
The incident happened inside a ground-floor Watsons – Asia’s largest health and beauty product chain – where rescuers said roughly 100 square metres (1,076 square feet) of shop ceiling and wall collapsed at 8:20pm local time on 13th July.
Pictures Credit: AsiaWire
Footage taken from a shop above by customers and employees shows them looking at a large hole in the floor, through which the ground-floor shop can be seen.
In other shots, the collapsed ceiling can be seen, together with large chunks of concrete rubble as well as running water following several pipe bursts.
Local authorities said 70 firefighters and three search and rescue dogs were sent into the shopping centre while all members of the public were evacuated.
Rescuers dug through the rubble and, by 11pm, all three victims had been found and sent to hospital for treatment.
The victims were not in any life-threatening condition, officials said, but it is still unclear whether they were shoppers or shopkeepers.
Staff at the shopping centre, which is home to household names such as US retail giant Walmart, said they have yet to be allowed back into the building in order to assess just how much damage has been done.
An anonymous shop owner revealed to local media that the space above the Watsons had been unoccupied until recently when a prospective new owner brought in bags of sand in order to begin renovations.
Officials have yet to determine the exact cause of the accident, while some 300-odd rescuers and workers were still clearing the area of rubble and construction materials.
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