According to Chinese state television, people were trapped inside a building with restaurants, cafes, hotels and several apartments.
Five people have been rescued from a partial collapse of a building in China, but authorities warn dozens more are still missing.
CCTV reported that the six-storey building in the city of Changsha partially collapsed on Friday with 23 people inside.
Rescuers in central China have since pulled five people from the rubble, authorities said on Saturday.
However, they added that the other 39 people who were around the site of the building when it toppled were still unable to be contacted and rescue operations were continuing.
President Xi Jinping has issued a directive to continue rescuing more victims “at all costs.”
Authorities said at a news conference that five people were rescued in stable condition in a hospital.
Preliminary investigations revealed the building had a restaurant, café, hotel and several apartments, CCTV reported.
The report added that tenants had made structural changes to the premises and the exact cause of the collapse was still under investigation.
Following the increase in the number of self-built building collapses in recent years, Xi also said that it is necessary to inspect those structures to investigate any potential hazards and fix them in a timely manner to prevent major accidents from occurring, according to the state news agency Xinhua.
Photographs show that the front of the building is largely intact, while the rear part appears to have collapsed.
The lack of the following safety standards, including the illegal addition of sub-layers and the absence of reinforced iron rods, is often thought to be the cause of such disasters.