Shenzhen landslide Startling Photos: 85 Still Missing
At least 85 people remain missing in southern China a day after a mountain of construction waste and soil swept over dozens of buildings, in the latest disaster to hit a nation increasingly facing the consequences of its rapid industrialisation.
Officials said debris from the 100-metre hill in Shenzhen, the city adjoining Hong Kong, buried or damaged 33 buildings on an industrial park, including factories, offices, workshops and dormitories.
The debris, excavated soil, cement and other construction waste had been piled on the hillside for two years amid the city’s ongoing construction boom, and was seemingly loosened by heavy rain.
Startling photos and videos showed a life-threatening landslide topple a building in an industrial park in Shenzhen, a major city in China's southern Guangdong province, on Sunday.
Angry survivors and relatives of people that are still missing have criticised a five-hour suspension to rescue efforts following the deadly landslide on the outskirts of Shenzhen, as the body of the first victim was recovered early on Tuesday morning.
The grim discovery – reported by Xinhua news agency, without giving more details – came as the rescue command centre confirmed there was no potential danger of a secondary disaster after staff from China National Petroleum Corporation cleared the remaining natural gas in the nearby pipelines overnight.
Officials said on Monday that 85 people were missing from Sunday’s disaster, revised down from 91 earlier. Seven people were rescued.
Relatives of those that are missing questioned why rescue efforts were suspended from 11pm on Monday until 4am on Tuesday – the “golden hours” for finding survivors – despite the authorities promising that attempts to find survivors would go on throughout the night.
The landslide came after heavy rains destabilized a 330-foot-high mountain of soil and construction waste accumulated over two years. The debris spilled over an area of 380,000 square meters (4 million square feet) and destroyed some 33 buildings, including three workers' dormitories and 14 factories.
Immediately after the incident, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Shenzhen city and Guangdong province authorities to conduct search-and-rescue missions, treat the wounded and mollify families as quickly as possible, Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said. Some 2,900 people are on the scene, digging through the rubble, according to China's People's Daily.
A number of photos and videos, taken both on the ground and from drones, show rescue workers carry out search-and-rescue missions amid a deluge of orange dirt and building debris strewn across the city.
STR/Getty ImagesCranes dig through debris in search of missing people.
Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesRescuers work their way through the ruined buildings.
Andy Wong/Associated PressCranes dig through debris in search of missing people.
STR via Getty ImagesA building collapses in Shenzhen.
Lam Yik Fei via Getty ImagesEmergency services search a collapsed building after the landslide buried dozens of buildings.
ChinaFotoPress/Getty ImagesRescuers search for survivors in the rubble from collapsed buildings.
STR/Getty ImagesChinese rescue teams work, as photographed from above.
Andy Wong via Associated PressPeople watch rescuers using machinery to extract potential survivors from collapsed buildings.
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