Guests among people trapped in Suzhou

Rescuers search for survivors after a hotel collapsed in Suzhou in China's eastern Jiangsu province on July 12, 2021.

BEIJING ) — Rescue workers were digging through the remains of a collapsed hotel in eastern China looking for any survivors of a disaster that has killed at least eight people and left nine missing, authorities said Tuesday.

The workers in the city of Suzhou searched through the night, using rescue dogs, cranes, ladders and metal cutters, after the building collapsed Monday afternoon, the city government said in social media posts.

Photos and video showed orange-suited rescuers with helmets working through the ruins of the building, which had been reduced to girders and rubble.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

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Boats are used to ferry tourists on canals in the historic city of Suzhou. Suzhou which has a history of over 2,500 years is the historical center of China's silk industry and its famed classical Chinese gardens are UNESCO World Heritage listed. This photo was taken on April 10, 2013.

At least 23 people were trapped when then hotel collapsed in the popular tourist destination. Six people were rescued and eight people were confirmed dead, leaving nine people unaccounted for.

Authorities said 18 of those trapped were identified through check-in records, apparently hotel guests. The identities of the other five were unclear.

The 54-room Siji Kaiyuan Hotel opened in 2018, according to Ctrip, a Chinese online booking app.

More than 600 people, including earthquake rescue teams, and 120 vehicles were mobilized for the operation, the city government said.

Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province near Shanghai, is known for its historic canals and traditional Chinese gardens, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Trees are reflected in the pond of a traditional garden in the tourist destination of Suzhou on August 16, 2010. Famous for its beautiful stone bridges over canals, pagodas and traditional gardens, the Chinese city located near the Yangtze river and the Taihu lake is an extremely popular tourist destination.

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