Eleven people have died after the roof of a school gymnasium in north-east China collapsed while it was being used by a girls’ volleyball team, state media reports.
Many of the victims are children, eyewitnesses told local media, although this is yet to be officially confirmed.
Anguished parents have thronged a nearby hospital seeking updates.
Only eight of the 19 people who were inside the gym in the industrial province of Heilongjiang survived.
Police have detained the bosses at a local construction company, according to local media.
They have been accused of dumping perlite, a form of volcanic glass, on the roof of the gym while working on an adjacent building project.
The mineral had soaked up rain water following heavy downpours, which sent the roof into a collapse at 15:00 local time (07:00 GMT).
The coach of the middle school’s girls’ volleyball team was heard calling out the students’ names as rescue teams clawed through the rubble in Qiqihar city, China National Radio reported.