Thirty-nine people are missing after a residential building collapsed on Friday in Changsha City, capital of central China's Hunan Province, local authorities said at a conference on Saturday.
Twenty-three people were trapped under the rubble and five of them were rescued as of Saturday morning.
The six-story building in Wangcheng District, which has a floor area of about 700 square meters, toppled at 12:24 p.m. Friday.
Rescuers are searching for more survivors and police said they have detained the owner.
Huang Ming, minister of emergency management, in a video conference on Saturday morning, called for inspection of work safety to prevent further accidents.
"Related departments should crack down on illegal and irregular building activities such as unauthorized construction and unauthorized alteration of the main structure, to prevent collapses and other similar accidents," said Huang.
On Saturday, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong led a team to Changsha to guide rescue and emergency response.