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Shenzhen landslide survivor found

A teenager has been rescued from a landslide after spending 60 hours under the rubble in Shenzhen, China.

RESCUERS scrabbling through the debris of Sunday’s huge landslide in Shenzhen yesterday discovered a young man alive in the mud. Rescuers struggled to claw away a massive mound of mud engulfing an industrial district in China on December 22 in a desperate bid to find survivors among 76 missing people following a landslide that occurred despite multiple warnings. The man survived in a crawl space created by a broken door panel.

A giant deluge of mud and construction waste from the overfull dump site buried 33 buildings at the industrial park on Sunday (Monday, NZT).

“He told the soldiers who rescued him, there is another survivor close by”, state news agency Xinhua said, although it later reported rescuers had found another body rather than a survivor.

The surviving teen has been identified as 19-year-old Tian Zeming from Chongqing city in central China, CNN reported. Another person who was trapped together with Tian, was dead when rescuers reached him.

No official death toll has been given by authorities so far, but according to state media and the official social media accounts of local officials, three bodies have so far been found.

Wang Guoshe, head of Guangdong fire department, said locating the tops of buried buildings was the main task now, so that signs of life could be found more accurately, Xinhua reported.

More than 4 000 rescue workers were using radar to help them dig at 16 locations before the official 72-hour survival window expired midday on Wednesday.

The State Council has set up an investigation team headed by Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming to look into the causes of the disaster.

Initial reports suggest the apparently man-made catastrophe happened when a hillside landfill site, used to dump construction waste, gave way, spewing a powerful sea of dirt down on to the factories, office blocks and workers’ dormitories below.

The landslide covered an area of almost 650,000 square feet – equivalent to more than 70 football fields – in the Guangming New District on Shenzhen’s outskirts.

The landslide is the fourth major disaster to strike China in a year following a deadly New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai, the capsizing of a cruise ship in the Yangtze River and a massive explosion at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin on the coast near Beijing.

The city had “pointed out problems at the site and requested steps to correct them”, the announcement said.

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