China arrests 11 over landslide disaster

Chinese authorities formally arrest 11 people in connection Shenzhen landslide, as death toll rises

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Rescuers seen among the debris of collapsed buildings as excavators and trucks work at the site of a landslide in Shenzhen, Guangdong province,China, December 23, 2015

Chinese authorities have formally arrested 11 people in connection with last month’s deadly landslide in the southern city of Shenzhen, as the confirmed death toll from the incident has reached 12 - with 62 other people still missing - state news agency Xinhua reported.

The defendants, who are accused of not following construction safety rules, have been charged with negligently causing a disaster after a dump overflowed and submerged 33 buildings on December 20.

Among the 11 people arrested are a legal representative and a deputy general manager of Shenzhen Yixianglong Investment Development - the company managing the dump site - as well as officials who were meant to be inspecting it, the report said, citing a prosecutor.

The prosecutor has urged security forces to track down other suspects at the earliest opportunity, Xinhua said.

Shenzhen Yixianglong have not answered calls seeking comment so far.

The latest disaster raises more questions concerning China's industrial safety standards after years of rapid economic growth.

China recently witnessed one of its worst industrial disaster in years on August 12, 2015. Huge double explosions at a chemical warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin left 173 people dead and hundreds more injured.

TRTWorld and agencies