A teen-aged boy has been pulled out alive Wednesday after being buried for about 67 hours in debris following Sunday’s landslide in China’s southeastern city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province. At least 70 people are still missing following the landslide that hit an industrial park burying over 30 buildings.
The surviving teen has been identified as 19-year-old Tian Zeming from Chongqing city in central China, CNN reported. It took three hours from when Tian was first located until he was pulled out. Firefighters had to go into a narrow space around Tian and remove the rubble trapping him, Xinhua News reported. Tian was reportedly in stable condition.
Officials said Wednesday that Tian was in an extremely weak condition when found in an excavated hole under the building's roof, Agence France-Presse reported. Doctors said that the teen was severely dehydrated and suffered a crushed leg, according to AFP. Another person, whom rescuers pulled out alive along with Tian, was later pronounced dead. Officials did not give any death toll following the incident, but AFP reported that there were three confirmed deaths.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the landslide after it was found that the tragedy occurred when a huge man-made mound of earth and construction waste collapsed, following heavy rains.
"The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse," the Ministry of Land and Resources said, according to BBC. About 900 people were reportedly evacuated Sunday and thousands have been involved in the rescue efforts.
The China Global Times newspaper wrote a scathing op-ed following the disaster, saying that China needed to “significantly increase the cost of production to ensure the conditions for safety and reduce the occurrence rate of accidents.”
“The Shenzhen disaster has raised a slew of questions. Why the selection of the location for the mass of construction waste was not based on careful consideration? Why there was no safety appraisal of the trash mountain? Answers to these questions are inescapably linked with the economics of waste treatment,” the newspaper said.
The Shenzhen tragedy is China's fourth major disaster in a year starting with a fatal stampede in Shanghai on Dec. 31, 2014. This was followed by a cruise ship capsize on the Yangtze River in June and huge explosions at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin that killed over 170 people in August.