91 Missing After Landslide Buries Industrial Park

Pile of man-made waste collapsed in Shenzhen disaster
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2015 3:06 AM CST
91 Missing After Landslide Buries Industrial Park
In this photo taken from a drone-mounted camera, rescue workers search for survivors Monday in the aftermath of a landslide in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province.   (Chinatopix via AP)

Rescuers are searching for at least 91 missing people a day after a mountain of excavated soil and construction waste buried dozens of buildings when it swept through an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. China's official Xinhua News Agency said the landslide buried or damaged 33 buildings in the industrial park in Shenzhen, a major manufacturing center across the border from Hong Kong that makes products used around the world. Aerial photos on the microblog of the Public Security Ministry's Firefighting Bureau showed the area awash in a sea of red mud, with several buildings either knocked on their side or collapsed entirely.

Just seven people were rescued overnight and 13 overall were hospitalized, including three with life-threatening injuries, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The Ministry of Land and Resources said the debris originated with a steep, man-made mountain of dirt, cement chunks, and other construction waste that had been piled up against a 330-foot hill over the past two years. Heavy rains in the region had saturated the soil, making it increasingly unstable and ultimately causing it to collapse with massive force, covering a large area with up to 20 feet of mud. "The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse," the ministry said, adding that the original, natural hill remained intact. (In August, massive explosions in Tianjin killed at least 139 people.)

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