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Shenzhen landslide an accident, not geological disaster

Updated: Dec 25,2015 9:54 PM     Xinhua

Officials from the Shenzhen government and the city Party committee apologized to the public for the landslide incident in a press conference on Dec 25, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

SHENZHEN — A landslide that has left dozens missing in South China’s Shenzhen city was a work safety incident, not a geological disaster, a State Council investigation team confirmed on Dec 25.

The tragedy was caused by the collapse of a huge pile of construction waste, rather than any natural geological phenomenon, the investigation team said in a statement.

The State Administration of Work Safety will lead an investigation into the accident.

“The investigation will start immediately. Those responsible for the incident will be seriously punished in accordance with laws and regulations,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen Party secretary Ma Xingrui and other city officials apologized to the public on behalf of the Shenzhen government and the city Party committee in a televised press conference on night of Dec 25.

Ma said Shenzhen will actively cooperate with the investigation.

Yang Shengjun, head of the Shenzhen Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau, said that there is still “some risk” of more landslides at three separate locations in the industrial park, and that they have dispatched professionals to deal with it.

“There are also dangerous chemical items that need to be identified and treated,” Yang said, adding that no air or water contamination has been detected since the disaster.

On Dec 20, construction waste collapsed on Hengtaiyu industrial park in Guangming New District in Shenzhen, covering an area of 380,000 square meters, burying or damaging 33 buildings.

So far, one person has been rescued and four bodies found. There are still 75 people unaccounted for.