Landslide hits Shenzhen; 91 missing

21 Dec 2015 | By Shiladitya

A sea of earth, mud and construction waste crashed into an industrial district of the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen causing severe damage.

Hundreds of people fled as 33 buildings were destroyed.

91 people are still missing as rescue operations continue.

According to reports, the mud field covered an area of 15 acres and was 6 meters deep in some parts.

In context: Landslide in Shenzhen leaves 91 missing

Damage An assessment of the damage

Among the 33 collapsed buildings were 14 factory buildings, 3 workers' dormitories, 2 office buildings, 1 canteen and 13 low-rise buildings.

A 400 meter long section of China's major West-East gas pipeline exploded.

The pipeline was owned by PetroChina, China's top gas and oil producer.

Xinhua reported that the ruptured pipe "has been emptied", and a temporary pipe would be constructed.

Cause Mountain of construction waste responsible

China's Ministry of Land Resources, after an investigation, blamed the landslide on a mountain of construction waste.

The Weibo page of Shenzhen Tequ Bao, a local newspaper, reported that the mountain of waste was illegal but had been approved by local officials. The posts were later deleted.

Locals said that trucks used to dump waste every day and ¥250 was charged per truck.

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Rescue 3,000 rescue workers look for signs of life

According to China's official news agency, Xinhua, 3,000 rescue workers were at the site with drones and sniffer dogs.

Signs of life were detected in three locations across the 15 acre area buried under mud.

4 people have been rescued so far and 900 people have been evacuated.

A rescue command centre and 3 treatment shelters have been set up at the site.

Criticism Public criticism of lax government regulations

Several recent disasters in China, including the landslide at Shenzhen, were caused by lax government regulations, leading to growing public criticism.

A chemical depot exploded in Tianjin in August 2015, killing more than 170 people, while a building collapse in October killed 17.

Weibo user "Tiger from Xinzhou", criticised the Chinese media saying, "Less talk about the leaders and more reports on the causes."

China's worst landslide in history

On 8th August 2010, a barrage of mud slid down a mountainside and into a town in China's northeastern Gansu province killing more than 1,471 people making it the worst landlside in China's history.

21 Dec 2015Landslide hits Shenzhen; 91 missing

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26 Dec 2015Shenzhen landslide: Safety violations the real culprit

Reports from the Chinese state media said that the landslide in Shenzen resulted from a "mountain of construction debris" due to safety violations and was not a natural disaster.

The state investigation team said that those responsible for the accident "will be seriously punished in accordance with laws and regulations".

73 people are still missing while 4 bodies were pulled out of the debris.