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17 dead in China building collapse

At least 17 people were killed yesterday at the site of the latest building collapse in China. A two storey iron casting factory currently under construction in Shijiazhuang, the capital of northern China's Hebei province is said to have been affected by torrential downpours and thunderstorms in the area, one witness saying the building was hit by lightning before its collapse. During the morning, 65.7 mm of rain fell on the city and hazard warnings were issued by Hebei Provincial Weather Observatory.

Earlier this year nine people, including developers and contractors, were arrested by the Chinese authorities following the collapse of a 13 storey building under construction in Shanghai. The Chinese are working hard to combat bad building practise following outrage surrounding the Sichuan earthquakes last year which saw many children die when their schools collapsed.

Elsewhere, the death toll has risen to 23 in Karachi, Pakistan where a five storey building collapsed last Friday. Rescue workers are still battling to recover missing and trapped people from the rubble. Having been situated in a busy market area, it is thought that up to 40 people could still be trapped but fire officers have advised the chances are slim that they will find any more survivors.

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