At least 18 people are dead and another 18 injured after an 80 tonne crane collapsed during high winds at a construction site in southern China.

According to Chinese authorities, the crane fell directly onto a two-storey temporary building, constructed from shipping containers, in Dongguan city in the eastern Guandong Province.

Spokesperson for the team in charge of the rescue effort, Luo Bin, told the Chinese state media that 139 construction workers were inside the building when the crane collapsed on Wednesday, April 6.

Of the 18 people injured in the fatal collapse, four were reported to be in a serious condition.

The deadly incident is the worst in China’s construction industry since the massive construction waste landslide in Shenzhen in December last year, which left 74 people dead or missing.

An investigation into the incident is underway. Questions have been raised about the decision to place such a large structure adjacent to a temporary building housing so many people.

Following the incident local police reportedly detained 11 people on suspicion of failing to prevent the disaster.

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