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Shenzhen Landslide Man-made Event, Not Natural Disaster
   2015-12-26 07:22:27    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Chenxi

Officials investigating this past weekend's massive landslide in the city of Shenzhen, which has left 75 still missing and presumed dead, is now being treated as a work safety incident, rather than a geological disaster.

CRI's Niu Honglin has more.

 

Investigators from the State Council's office say they've decided the massive collapse of construction waste is not going to be deemed a geological phenomenon.

Instead, it's being looked at as a work safety issue, meaning officials are most likely going to be held responsible.

Shenzhen Party chief Ma Xingrui, along with other city officials, has since issued a public apology.

"We shall take on whatever responsibility, accept whatever treatment and punish, no matter who is deemed responsible under the law. Now, I, on behalf of the Shenzhen government and the city Party committee, would like to express our condolences to the victims and their families. We'd like to sincerely apologize to all the people affected by this tragedy."

In making the statement, Ma Xingrui says the Shenzhen government plans to work fully with the State Administration of Work Safety with its investigation.

At issue is how construction waste and other fill material was allowed to be piled up some 100-meters high before it came barreling down on the industrial park in Shenzhen this past Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, on the ground, it's been revealed a warehouse storing hazardous chemicals is among the roughly 30 buildings caught up in the slide.

The damage to the warehouse, as well as details as to the chemicals themselves, have not been ascertained.

It's said to be buried under some 15-meters of fill at the moment.

Fu Ling, who heads the Chinese Armed Police Force doing recovery work at the site, says they've cordoned off the area to try to prevent any secondary disasters.

"The core area covers about 600 square meters, and it is close to where people are working. We've coordinated off an area of 50-square meters around the core area to ensure that the heavy machinery doesn't become involved in another incident."

Municipal officials in Shenzhen say they believe the warehouse in-question is the only one buried in the slide which contains any hazardous materials.

Li Jiannan heads the Production Safety Supervision Bureau with Shenzhen's Guangming New District.

"To ensure there was no secondary disaster caused by hazardous chemicals after the landslide, district authorities ran a quick check to ensure there were no chemical producing companies in the area. While we've determined there are no dangerous chemical manufacturers in the area, 10 different businesses on the site do use or store dangerous chemicals."

Because of the danger, additional engineering and technical personnel have been brought in, along with specialized equipment.

Meanwhile, grief councilors have also been dispatched to the scene to help the families of the victims come to terms with the disaster.

Medical staff is also conducting a public health risk assessment.

Special teams have also been set up to handle disease monitoring for both those on the site, as well as those who have been resettled in the surrounding area.

For CRI, I'm Niu Honglin.

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