A mother and her son are lucky to be alive after they spent 52 hours trapped underneath the rubble of a hotel that had collapsed in southeastern China over the weekend.
Authorities discovered the woman and her 10-year-old son late Monday night underneath the debris of the Quanzhou hotel, which had been serving as a quarantined site for those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, according to the Associated Press.
After three hours of consistent digging, the pair were officially freed from the rubble around midnight on Tuesday, three days after the hotel initially collapsed, the outlet reported.
Photos captured by the Xinhua News Agency show first responders, wearing protective equipment and face masks, loading the mother and her son onto a stretcher and into an ambulance to receive medical treatment.
Other images from the news agency feature the EMTs helping more victims out of the rubble — many of whom suffered cuts and injuries to their bodies — and carrying them away from the site of the collapse.
A total of 71 people were inside the hotel when it collapsed on Saturday, according to the AP.
While the woman, her son and many others are survivors of the frightening incident, 10 people currently remain missing and 20 others are confirmed to be dead, the outlet reported.
The incident came after the building, which was first built in 2013 and converted into an express hotel in 2018, underwent illegal reconstruction multiple times, a senior official told Xinhua on Tuesday, according to AP.
Saturday’s incident, in particular, unfolded as the two supermarkets on the first floor were being remodeled and a pillar deformed, a district official reportedly told the local outlet.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the pillar to collapse. Authorities are currently conducting a “comprehensive accident investigation” to determine the cause of the incident, according to AP.
The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-2019, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December.
Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.
As of March 10, there have been more than 118,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide with over 4,200 deaths reported. 730 of those confirmed cases were reported in the United States with 27 people in the U.S. dying from a coronavirus-related illness.
The majority of U.S. cases have been in Washington state, California and New York, and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.
A number of U.S. colleges and universities, including Harvard University, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Princeton University, and New York University, have also taken the precautionary measure of suspending or canceling classes as the virus continues to spread.
In mainland China, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-2019, while over 3,100 people have died, according to the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, over 60,000 have managed to recover from the virus, which typically presents itself through signs of trouble breathing, fever, coughing, headache and a sore throat.
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