Firefighters work at the site of a collapsed building in Shanghai, May 16, 2019.
Firefighters work at the site of a collapsed building in Shanghai, May 16, 2019.

SHANGHAI - A building that was being refurbished collapsed Thursday in downtown Shanghai, and at least five people were killed though 14 have been pulled from the rubble alive, according to wire services.

The building being converted into an auto showroom fell around 11:30 a.m., and the city’s rescue service said 24 emergency vehicles and more than 150 personnel responded to the emergency.

By early afternoon, 14 out of about 20 people buried in the collapse had been pulled from the rubble. Their conditions were not immediately known.

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The building is in the Changning district of China’s financial hub.

China has suffered some industrial accidents in recent months largely blamed on skirting of safety requirements amid a slowing economy.

In March, 78 people were killed in a blast at a chemical plant in the eastern city of Yancheng that had numerous safety violations, making it one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years.

Firefighters work at the site where a building col
Firefighters work at the site where a building collapsed, in Shanghai, May 16, 2019.

Earlier, in November, at least 22 people were killed in an explosion outside a chemical plant in the northeastern city of Zhangjiakou, which will host competitions in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A major fire in Shanghai in 2010 destroyed a 28-story apartment building that was under repair, killing at least 58 people. Authorities blamed sparks from a welder’s torch.

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