BEIJING (AFP) – One of the people found alive on Wednesday (Dec 23) in the aftermath of a landslide in southern China has died, the local fire department said.
The man was one of two survivors discovered by workers looking for signs of life almost 72 hours after a tide of earth and rubble buried factories and workers’ dormitories in the heaving city of Shenzhen.
He died around 9.30am Wednesday (Dec 23) morning, according to a social media post by the Guangdong fire department.
Reports earlier in the day said firefighters were struggling to free the gravely injured man.
A second survivor, 19-year old Tian Zeming was in a stable condition at a local hospital, according to the fire department, who had pulled him from the earth early Wednesday (Dec 23) morning.
Emergency workers were racing against the clock as rescue efforts pass the so-called “golden period”, the 72-hour window when survival chances are highest.
The landslide is the latest in a series of fatal accidents in the world’s most populous country, and comes just months after a massive chemical blast in the industrial city of Tianjin killed almost 200 people.
The disaster was caused by the improper storage of waste from construction sites, according to the official newspaper of the Ministry of Land and Resources.
Soil was illegally piled 100m high at an old quarry site and turned to mud during rain Sunday morning, according to the state-run Global Times.
The government has pledged an investigation into the disaster, after documents posted on the city’s web site showed that authorities had issued repeated warnings about the problem.