At least 91 people were missing after a huge mound of mud and construction waste collapsed at a business park in southern China and buried 33 buildings in the country’s latest industrial disaster.
Premier Li Keqiang has ordered an official investigation into Sunday’s (December 20) landslide in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong.
The mudslide smashed into multi-storey buildings at the Hengtaiyu industrial park in the Guangming New District of the city.
Hundreds of rescuers were sifting through rubble looking for survivors.
The Ministry of Land Resources blamed the landslide on a mountain of waste construction mud in the vicinity.
Provincial authorities sent a team to investigate and said the accumulation of a large amount of waste meant that mud was stacked too steep, “causing instability and collapse, resulting in the collapse of buildings”, the ministry said in a statement.
A nearby section of China’s major West-East natural gas pipeline also exploded, state television added, though it was not clear if this had any impact on the landslide.