by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Over 70 people are missing in China’s Shenzhen province after a landslide at an overfull dump site.
33 buildings were also buried under the rubble, containing mud and construction waste.
Chinese authorities raided the offices of the company managing the dump site, Shenzhen Yixianglong Investment Development, amid government records showing that it was not qualified to do the job.
Rescuers have been hard at work, with over 900 residents evacuated, and 1,500 firemen, police officers and health workers dispatched to the area. Disappointingly, only one body was recovered yesterday, apparently belonging to a dump site worker.
“At 5:40am this morning, rescuers from Longang brigade of the fire department of Shenzhen’s public security bureau found a male victim’s body at Dongsikou working area during search and rescue work, and the victim’s identity is still being confirmed.
“Now, I suggest [we] express our deep condolences on the death of this brother who lost his life in the landslide disaster,” said Liu Qingsheng, Shenzhen’s Vice Mayor.
A second body was pulled from the debris today, miraculously alive but with crushed legs. He told his rescuers that another survivor is close by but the third body recovered today was not a survivor.
The landslide is China’s second major man-made disaster in four months, after over 170 people died from massive chemical blasts earlier in August this year.
According to Reuters, police investigated the premises of the company responsible on Tuesday, but saw no sign of employees, highlighting a need for stronger regulatory measures in China’s works management.
“After verification, as of 2:30pm on December 22, 76 people in total are still missing, of whom 51 are male and 25 female. Among the 76, 73 people’s identities have been verified,” said Qingsheng.
China’s Ministry of Land and Resources said the disaster was a collapse of piled-up construction waste and soil residue in the area.