China

China landslide: Many missing after buildings collapse in Shenzhen

  • 20 December 2015
  • From the section China
Media captionThe BBC's Michael Bristow reports as footage shows buildings collapsing

Dozens of people are missing after a landslide engulfed 22 buildings at an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

About 900 people were evacuated, and four were pulled from rubble with minor or no injuries, the local government said. No fatalities have been reported.

Shenzhen's fire brigade said it was working to free other trapped people - state media say 59 remain missing.

Two workers' dormitories are among the affected buildings.

The city is one of China's biggest and is a major industrial centre.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This aerial view of the scene shows the impact of the landslide
Image copyright AP
Image caption One building was seen leaning sharply to one side
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A number of buildings were all or partially collapsed
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption About 900 people were evacuated, but rescuers are looking for survivors

State media quoted officials as saying 36 men and 23 women were missing and that "signs of life" had been detected at three separate locations.

An area of 20,000 sq m (24,000 square yards) was covered with soil, the Public Security Bureau's firefighting bureau said.

The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted a local worker as saying he saw "red earth and mud running towards the company building".

Another resident living around 4km (2.5 miles) from the site described hearing a "loud explosion" at around noon as the landslide hit.

Ren Jiguang, the deputy chief of Shenzhen's public security bureau, told state broadcaster CCTV that most people had been moved to safety before the landslide hit.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some 1,500 firefighters were sent to the scene
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption It was the second major landslide in the country in as many months

Some 1,500 firefighters are at the scene, the Guangming New Area Government said on its official page on the Sina Weibo micro-blogging site.

Local media reported that the soil that came loose had been dug up in the past two years in construction work and was piled up nearby.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The landslide covered about 20,000 sq m
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Industrial vehicles were buried and upturned by the moving soil

A statement on Weibo from the Shenzhen municipal government said the landslide had also triggered an explosion at a nearby gas station.

A landslide in the country's Zhejiang province in November killed at least 25 people.

More on this story