Dozens missing after massive landslide in China

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At least 91 people are missing after a landslide damaged 33 buildings in an industrial park in south China on Sunday, according to Chinese state media.

The Chinese government has ordered immediate rescue efforts following the landslide in the city of Shenzhen, in Guangdong province.

At least 13 people were hospitalized, three of them in serious condition, according to Shenzhen’s emergency response office. Of the missing, 59 are male and 32 female, state-run CCTV said Monday, citing rescue officials.

Police received a report of the landslide at around 11:40 a.m. local time, said authorities, and more than 700 people are searching the debris for signs of life.

Eleven firefighting teams along with four drones and 30 search dogs are involved in the effort, said the Guangdong Public Security Bureau. Officials have set up a rescue command center and three treatment shelters on site.

Fourteen people have been rescued, said officials.

Dumping ground

The source of the landslide was a man-made pile of earth rather than a natural mountain or formation, according to China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, whose team of experts is investigating the site. The landslide covered an area of 380,000 square meters, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Locals told Xinhua that hundreds of trucks carrying construction waste used to dump trash into the pile every day.

A security guard working in a factory in the area told Xinhua that a 250-yuan ($38) fee was charged per truck.

He Weiming, a migrant worker from Henan Province, told state media that many of his relatives were buried in debris.

“My father, mother, son, daughter, wife, sister and her child, sister-in-law and her three children and other five workers were all in there,” he said.

“I’ve made more than 40 calls; none of them got through. At first, they didn’t go through, and now the phones are powered off. When my brother and I left home in the morning, everything was fine. But when we got back around 11:40 a.m., our house had been buried. You couldn’t even see the top of the once four-meter-high building.”