Man found alive after China landslide

A man buried in rubble for almost three days after a landslide hit an area of Shenzhen in China, has been pulled out alive. Photo: Video grab/ BBC

A man buried in rubble for almost three days after a landslide hit an area of Shenzhen in China, has been pulled out alive.

The landslide, which struck early on Sunday, engulfed more than 30 buildings in an industrial district.

Three bodies have so far reportedly been recovered. More than 70 people are still missing.

The landslide happened when a huge man-made mound of earth and construction waste collapsed, after heavy rains.

The government has opened an official investigation into the incident, after it emerged that authorities had previously issued warnings about the mound.

The 19-year-old survivor was found around 04:00 local time on Wednesday (20:00 GMT Tuesday), after being buried for 67 hours. He has been named as Tian Zeming, a migrant worker from Chongqing in south-western China.

Authorities said on Wednesday that he was found in an extremely weak condition in an excavated hole under the building's roof. Doctors said he was severely dehydrated and had a crushed leg. Rescuers took about two hours to safely pull him out.

They added that while rescuing Tian, workers found a man's body near him that showed no signs of life.

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.

About 900 people were evacuated on Sunday as waves of soil and debris rolled across the district and sparked an explosion at a natural gas pipeline.

Rescuers had dug a deep hole in the vast mound of earth, to get to the man. Photo: Reuters

The landslide eventually blanketed a vast area of 380,000 sq m (455,000 sq yards) - the equivalent of about 50 football fields. Some areas were covered with up to 10m (32ft) of mud.

Thousands of people have been involved in the rescue efforts.

The number of missing has frequently been revised down, as people who were thought to be buried have been contacted or located by authorities.

The Ministry of Land and Resources said a mountain of earth and construction waste had been piled up against the local hill during the past two years.

"The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse,'' the ministry said.

State media said that a district government report in January warned of a "catastrophe" at the dump, which it said was made up of 1 million cubic metres of waste.

Local resident Yi Jimin agreed the disaster was not an act of nature.

"Heavy rains and a collapse of a mountain are natural disasters, but this wasn't a natural disaster, this was man-made,'' he said.

This is China's fourth major disaster in a year, beginning with a deadly stampede in Shanghai on New Year's Eve, followed by a cruise ship capsize on the Yangtze River and massive explosions at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin that killed more than 170 people.