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At least 20 dead after four multi-storey buildings collapse in China

The cause of the collapse is under investigation. (Representative Image) Photograph: (Getty)

AFP Beijing, China Oct 10, 2016, 03.15 AM (IST)

A series of multi-storey buildings built by local villagers and packed with migrant workers collapsed in China on Monday, killing at least 20 people, the government and reports said, AFP reorted.

Some 20 people have been confirmed dead and six rescued, the official Xinhua news agency reported, but without giving indications of total numbers missing. 

The Lucheng district government confirmed in a social media post that four buildings, built by local villagers, caved in during the early hours of Monday. Earlier, 17 people had been reported found dead and six rescued.

The post did not say how many people were missing. 

Xinhua, the official news agency, said rescuers were in the process of identifying the exact number of people trapped under the debris. It had earlier reported an ''initial estimate' of 20 people buried under the rubble. 

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. 

"To protect those who are trapped, we are mainly digging with our bare hands so that work is going slowly," fire department officer Sun Jing told Xinhua. He also said that debris was piled three storeys high. 

China has witnessed similar building collapses in recent years, with low-quality construction usually being reported as the reason for the collapses.

Earlier this year in May, 16 people were reported dead after a building in the southwestern province of Ghizhou was brought down by landslides. 

In April, two people were killed and 24 injured after a storm devastated an entire market building in Foshan city in the southern province of Guandong. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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