Friday, December 25, 2015

Criminal Investigation in Mudslide Dump

The follow-up to the deadly landslide in an industrial park in Shenzhen has revealed the situation to be more serious than initially thought. Only a single survivor was rescued from the buried buildings. Seven deaths are confirmed. After five days there is only a slight chance that more survivors could be found. The rescue effort has been hampered by a lack of suitable power equipment, so most of the digging has had to be done using hand shovels, leading to questions about the adequacy of the disaster response.

Officially, the event has been reclassified as a work safety failure rather than a natural disaster. The hill that collapsed in heavy rain was not a natural hill, but a very tall dump of construction debris and surplus soil. Local officials had ignored safety complaints about the dump for more than a year. Construction crews had not sought permission to pile the soil in a hill more than 100 meters tall, a strategy that directly violated construction safety laws and led to the mudslide. Government officials today announced a criminal investigation.

Telesur provides a roundup of recent developments:

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