Rescue mission continues for 75 missing at Shenzhen landslide site

World Today

shenzhenPhoto taken on Dec. 28, 2015 shows excavators and bulldozers working at the landslide site at an industrial park in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Lu Hanxin)

Rescue workers on Sunday continued to remove mounds of rubble and mud from the Hengtaiyu industrial park in Shenzhen City of south China’s Guangdong Province after the major landslide on Dec. 20 that left dozens missing in the city.

More than 5,000 rescuers and over 700 excavators have been racing against time to remove the mud and locate buried buildings at the site. The landslide occurred on Dec. 20 when a mountain of construction waste collapsed and blanketed an area of about 380,000 square meters, burying or damaging 33 buildings, authorities said. A total of 75 people remain missing.

An official said the average depth of mud and debris is about 15 meters, and the rescuers aim to remove another 5 meters of mud by Dec. 30.

“Based on the current depth, we need to remove at least 4 meters of mud every day before we get close to the buried buildings,” said Yu Wen, who was leading a search-and rescue team of the Hydropower Troops of the PLA Armed Police Force.

Light rain, which started falling on Saturday night, has hindered the cleanup operation, said Yu.

“It slows the bulldozers and excavators down, especially the bulldozers, which can easily become stuck in the mud and cannot work properly,” said Yu.

Yu added that rescuers have stepped up efforts and are expected to reach most of the buried buildings in three days.

Police officials said they will work with the inspection team and vowed to investigate suspects and punish criminals in accordance with law.

Meanwhile, the city’s health authority said five injured people have been discharged from hospital as of Monday and no epidemics occurred at the landslide site.

It added that 17 injured people were still being treated as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Compiled from CCTV News Content and Xinhua wires.