Rescuers pulled out a body from a mountain of rubble Tuesday after a landslide in Southern China buried 33 buildings at an industrial park over the weekend. The search for 81 people who are still missing in Guangdong province’s Shenzhen city continued as signs emerged that there might still be several survivors trapped.
Authorities reportedly blamed an enormous, man-made mountain of soil and waste for the collapse of nearly three dozen buildings. The landslide reportedly came after a series of ignored warnings and poor construction practices. Seven people have been rescued so far.
Sunday's landslide covered an area of 450,000 square yards with 33 feet of silt, authorities said, according to Xinhua. At least 16 people, including children, were reportedly hospitalized.
Authorities said that a steep man-made mountain of dirt, cement chunks and other construction waste had been piled up against a 330-foot-high hill over the past two years. It collapsed after heavy rain in the region saturated the soil, making it heavy and unstable.
"The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse,'' the ministry said, according to the BBC.
About 900 people were evacuated Sunday as waves of soil and debris covered large swathes of area and also sparked an explosion at a natural gas pipeline.
"Heavy rains and a collapse of a mountain are natural disasters, but this wasn't a natural disaster, this was man-made,'' local resident Yi Jimin told the BBC.