The death toll in a construction crane collapse rose to 18 by 18:00 Wednesday in south China's Guangdong Province.
"Except one, the identities of 17 other dead people are confirmed. Eighteen people, including four with major injuries, remained in hospital. The health conditions of the four with major injuries were stable. 15 others suffering minor injuries have left hospital after medical treatment," said Luo Bin, spokesperson of the rescue team, at a press conference.
Local officials said that the accident occurred at around 05:40 Wednesday in Mayong Township, Dongguan, when a gantry crane at the construction site in a factory collapsed and destroyed a work shed nearby used as a dormitory to house 139 workers.
Officials said 88 people managed to escape from the work shed at the time of its collapse, 15 suffered minor injuries and 18 remained in hospital.
Officials announced they have set up a special group to comfort the relatives of the dead and injured.
"We have assigned personnel to cope with the aftermath of the accident and to comfort the relatives of the dead and injured one by one. The company which takes responsibility for the construction work has allocated a special fund of 20 million yuan to deal with the aftermath issue. We will do our best to make sure that the injured acquire medical treatment and to solve relevant difficulties," said Luo.
An initial investigation showed the crane was blown over in a gale, and further investigation into the cause of the accident is underway.