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Building collapse kills 5 in E. China
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With the last three bodies recovered on Saturday, the death toll from a building collapse has risen to five, according to a local government spokesman in Zhangping city of east China's Fujian Province.

The accident occurred at about 1 a.m. Friday when three upper floors of the building collapsed and trapped 16 people.

Rescuers initially pulled 13 people out of the debris and sent them to hospital. Two of those people died, the spokesman said. The other 11 are described in stable condition.

Rescuers managed to find the three bodies in the collapsed building at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

About an hour before the collapse, there was a fire in a four-story department store next to the building. The blaze engulfed a furniture shop on the second floor. Firemen left at about 12:20 a.m. after extinguishing the fire.

It was not immediately known what caused the fire and whether the fire led to the building collapse, the spokesman said.

The department store owns the collapsed building, where its staff live, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2009)


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