NEW: A person is found dead; more than 80 people are missing
A pile of artificial construction waste and garbage collapsed on buildings in an industrial park
State news says a company had previously raised safety concerns about the site
Nearly 3,000 people were part of the massive rescue effort underway on Monday after a landslide in southern China, state media reported.
A pile of artificial construction waste and garbage has collapsed on buildings at an industrial park in Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong province.
The official Xinhua news agency reported that the body of one victim had been found and more than 80 people were missing.
At least 16 people remained in hospital, three of them in serious condition, according to the Shenzhen Emergency Response Office.
Landslide buries buildings in southern China
The rescue effort included members of the armed forces and search dogs, Xinhua said. Doctors were also dispatched to help.
Video from the scene showed rescue workers, wearing orange suits and helmets, using heavy machinery and their hands to clear debris. Authorities have set up a rescue command center and three treatment shelters on site.
Police received a report of the landslide on Sunday morning.
The company in charge of building the landfill reportedly raised safety concerns in a report filed in January with the municipal government.
“With the rapid economic development of Guangming New District, the acceleration of urbanization, and the increase of municipal and real estate development projects, a large amount of soil waste is destined to be produced. About one million square meters of soil waste is left every year in Guangming New District and it is necessary to find a way out. Therefore, there is an urgent need to build new landfills,” the report read, according to the state-run Legal Evening News.
The report also raised the issue of soil erosion, as the landfill was once a quarry, the newspaper said.
The landslide covered an area of 380,000 square meters, Xinhua reported. This resulted in the rupture of a gas pipeline.
Residents told Xinhua that hundreds of trucks carrying construction waste were dumping garbage into the heap every day.
A security guard working at a factory in the area told Xinhua that a fee of 250 yuan ($38) was charged per truck.
He Weiming, a migrant worker from Henan province, told state media that many of his relatives were buried in the rubble.
“My father, my mother, my son, my daughter, my wife, my sister and her child, my sister-in-law and her three children and five other workers were all there,” he said.
“I made over 40 calls; none of them succeeded. At first they didn’t go through, and now the phones are off. When my brother and I left the house in the morning, everything was fine. But when we returned around 11:40 a.m., our house was buried. You couldn’t even see the top of the building which was once 4 meters high.