07/25/2008, 00.00
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Mosque collapses in Qinghai, 8 dead 23 wounded

Tragedy caused by failed support beams as the construction neared completion. A small child who was playing nearby is among the dead. Links to yesterday’s tremor in Sichuan excluded.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The official death toll from the collapse of a mosque under construction in Xiajiuzhuang village, Qinghai province, north east China is 8 dead and 23 wounded. The tragedy took place yesterday, but news of the accident was only reported this morning by official press agencies.

Investigators were looking into whether the accident may have been caused by failed support beams. Among the victims was an 8-year-old boy who was playing in the construction site. Seven died at the scene and one person who had been severely injured died in the hospital. Rescue workers are digging through rubble for survivors.  

Authorities have excluded links to yesterday magnitude 6 tremor which shook the region between Shaanxi and Sichuan, leaving one person dead and dozens wounded.

Xiajiuzhuang village lies 40 kilometres from the provincial capital Xining and is home to 38 thousand people from the Hui ethnic minority, who are Muslim.  Construction work on the mosque first began in 2007.

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