- Reports indicate that a two-year-old pile of construction debris could be the culprit in the Shenzhen, China landslide over the weekend that has left 76 missing and 900 others displaced, The Wall Street Journal reported. The slide destroyed 33 factories, worker dormitories, apartments and other buildings. According to The Journal, preliminary findings by geological experts are that the construction debris had been piled too high and had become unstable, although officials have not officially confirmed that claim.
- According to nearby residents, dump trucks for two years had been unloading excavated dirt and construction debris on the hill that collapsed. The dumpsite is one of 12 that has been set up by the government to accommodate construction waste generated by the area’s fast growth.
- The Journal reported that the amount of the debris in the slide has slowed rescue efforts and that excavators, dogs and portable scanners have been brought in to help in the search for survivors. The landslide comes four months after an explosion in Tianjin, another coastal city in the midst of an economic boom. That incident killed 173 people.
According to The New York Times, Shenzhen is known as a modern city, a center for innovation, so the slide stands in stark contrast to that modern identity. The Times reported that Chinese news media have suggested that officials, perhaps driven by corruption or lack of attention, have turned a blind eye to risky conditions involved with the large amount of construction going on in the area.
"China’s rapid construction growth has long created problems with the dumping of building waste and displaced dirt,' The Times noted. In fact, The Times reported that these conditions are nothing new in China, with multi-story piles of construction waste and dirt blocking waterways and causing flooding in the outskirts of cities.
Shenzhen is home to the 115-story Ping An Finance Center, the world’s second tallest tower at 2,165 feet when counting its antenna. Russian-Ukrainian daredevil Vitaliy Raskalov and his friend Vadim Makhorov made the news when they climbed to the top in May of the year.
Also in Shenzhen is the Wolf D. Prix-designed Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition, where Prix is using a robot in the assembly.