News

Wedding roof collapse kills 9

In the hall, a wedding reception was going on. But outside, it was snowing and the roof of the old building in east China's Zhejiang province just could not take the weight of the snow that had piled up.

The roof gave way, trapping the more than 200 guests who were at the wedding at the hall in Yazhuang village of Pan'an county, official news agency Xinhua reported.

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon. More than 100 people were injured, including 12 who are in serious condition, and by yesterday, the death toll had risen to nine, local authorities said.

The bride, Ms Shi Tsao, 27, who was going onstage to speak to her guests, could only watch in horror as the roof collapsed seconds later, burying her friends and family.

The groom was taken to hospital with non-serious injuries.

Said a guest, Mr Chen Dianzhong: "Only a few minutes after I sat down to dine, I heard noises which sounded like squeaking wood. The roof fell the moment I looked up."

He has injuries to his waist and legs.

DUG OUT

Rescue workers dug throughout Thursday evening to remove the snow and rubble and pull free all those buried beneath.

Mr Yu Manxing, a local government spokesman, said the building was an old structure. It is not clear why the reception was allowed to be held there, reports said.

More than 100 firefighters and policemen were at the scene, along with villagers who volunteered to help, he said.

A preliminary investigation found that a large amount of snow on the roof caused the accident, Mr Yu said.

The news comes as snowstorms wreaked havoc across China, causing chaos on its railways and network of motorways. Last week, tens of millions of people faced disruptions as they travelled from rural areas back to cities after the week-long Spring Festival holidays.