Death toll from N China building collapse rises to 17

15:57, 04 August 2009
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The death toll from a building collapse in north China`s Hebei Province rose to 17 on Tuesday afternoon, said local authorities, according to Xinhua.

Three injured victims have been hospitalized.

    The collapse happened at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in the Tengfei Malleable Iron Casting Co. Ltd.`s building in Nanshijiazhuang village, Xizhaotong township in Shijiazhuang, Hebei`s capital, as the city was hit by torrential rain.

  The Hebei Provincial Weather Observatory issued warnings at 7 a.m. of probable hazards from thunderstorms and torrential rain. During the morning, 65.7 mm of rain fell on the city.

    The two-storey building collapsed after a lightning strike amid loud thunder, an unidentified villager said. The 20 plus people buried in the collapse were mostly workers in the building.

    The site of the accident was cordoned off by police.

    Rescue operations are underway.

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