Chinese officials detain individuals who they suspect of having made illegal alterations to the building in Changsha and claim that surveyors falsified a safety audit report.

Building collapses are not uncommon in China, due to weak safety and construction standards as well as corruption among officials tasked with enforcement.
Building collapses are not uncommon in China, due to weak safety and construction standards as well as corruption among officials tasked with enforcement. (AFP)

Chinese authorities have raised the number of people confirmed dead in a building collapse to 26, nearly a week after the block containing apartments, a hotel, and a cinema caved in.

The commercial building in central Changsha collapsed on Friday, with officials saying that "currently 10 trapped people have been rescued and 26 people were discovered dead," state broadcaster CCTV said.

The tenth person pulled alive from the rubble just after midnight on Thursday had been buried in debris for nearly six days.

She was conscious during her rescue and even advised rescuers on how to bring her out safely, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

The flattened structure, which has left a gaping hole in a dense Changsha streetscape, created a mess of debris and crumbled concrete beams.

The confirmed number of dead from the collapse had previously been five. More people are still believed to be missing in the debris.

Another woman who survived around 88 hours in the debris told state media that she was studying on her bed at the time of the collapse and managed to stay alive by holding on to a small amount of water and using her quilt to keep warm.

Rescuers have been able to find live victims with the help of sniffer dogs, life detectors and drones, as well as shouting and knocking survivors, according to Xinhua.

READ MORE: More survivors found two days after China building collapse, dozens missing

Eleven detained

Eleven people - including the building's owner and a team of safety inspectors - have been detained in connection with the collapse, including two people suspected of engaging in "illegal alteration" of the building, according to Changsha authorities.

Officials have alleged that surveyors falsified a safety audit of the building.

On Thursday, Xinhua said the building was a "self-built residential structure."

President Xi Jinping earlier called for a search "at all cost" and ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of the collapse, state media reported.

A top Communist Party official was also dispatched to the scene - an indication of the severity of the disaster.

READ MORE: Several trapped after eight-storey building in China comes crashing down

Source: TRTWorld and agencies