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At least four people killed, over 20 missing in eastern China after four buildings collapse at dawn

At least four people died and an unknown number remain missing after four residential buildings collapsed in eastern China shortly before dawn on Monday.

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Nine people were pulled from the debris, but four of them died on the way to hospital following the collapse of the five-storey buildings in the Lucheng industrial zone of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, at about 4am, the Zhejiang Daily reported.

The exact number of people that remain missing remains unclear. But Xinhua reported initial estimates suggested that more than 20 people were likely to have been buried beneath the debris.

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Nearly 800 rescuers, including armed police and firefighters aided by sniffer dogs are continuing to search for survivors at the site of the collapsed buildings.

Senior officials of the city are at the site helping with the rescue efforts.

The Zhejiang provincial government has set up an investigation to find out the reasons for the collapse of the buildings.