The massive landslide in Shenzhen, China earlier this week that left seven people dead and dozens missing was a work safety incident, not a geological disaster, state investigators confirmed Friday.
PHOTO GALLERY: China's Shenzhen Landslide Disaster
According to a State Council investigation team, the disaster was caused by the collapse of a huge pile of construction waste. Local news reports said the waste was illegally piled 100 meters high at an old quarry site and turned to mud during Sunday rains, resulting in a mudslide.
Some 75 people are still missing, while seven people have been confirmed dead. So far, only one person has reportedly walked away from the disaster alive.
The landslide also swallowed over 30 buildings and sparked what emergency workers have described as a “race against time” to find survivors.
Officials say that the State Administration of Work Safety will lead an investigation into the accident, “starting immediately.”
“Those responsible for the incident will be seriously punished in accordance with laws and regulations,” said a statement released the State Council.
According to the South China Morning Post, the landslide is only “the latest in a series of fatal man-made accidents” in the country. It follows a massive chemical blast only months ago in the industrial city of Tianjin that killed almost 200 people.
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