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January 31, 2010

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Building collapse toll rises to 4

RESCUERS found one more body yesterday morning in the rubble of an apartment building that tumbled in Hong Kong on Friday, bringing the death toll to four.

The building, in Hung Hom, Kowloon, collapsed about 2pm Friday. The bodies of three victims were pulled from the rubble on Friday, while another woman's body was found yesterday, the government said.

No other people were missing, government broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong reported, citing unidentified sources.

Hong Kong's government ordered inspections of all buildings more than 50 years old after the incident.

There are "thousands" of such structures throughout the city, a Hong Kong newspaper reported.

Recent renovations, including removal of structural walls or columns, might have led to the collapse, said Lau Chin-kin, chairman of the Institution of Engineers' structural engineering division.

The city government will give HK$5,000 (US$644) in emergency aid to each of the affected households, a government spokesman said.


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