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Official in China City Hit by Deadly Landslide Kills Himself

  • Associated Press

Rescuers using excavators dig the sea of soil to search for potential survivors near the damaged building following a landslide at a industrial park in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

Rescuers using excavators dig the sea of soil to search for potential survivors near the damaged building following a landslide at a industrial park in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

A government official in southern China has killed himself, a week after a landslide from a pileup of construction waste in his city left scores missing and presumed dead, local police said Monday.

The head of the Urban Management Bureau in Shenzhen city's Guangming New District jumped to his death from a building Sunday, a statement from the Shenzhen police said.

The official was identified only by his surname, Xu. No further details were given.

In the Dec. 20 disaster, a mountain of construction waste collapsed amid heavy rains onto an industrial park in Guangming New District, killing one person and leaving 75 missing and presumed dead.

In a rare move, Shenzhen's top officials, including the city's Communist Party chief and its mayor, bowed deeply at a news conference to apologize.

It was not clear if Xu was under investigation over the landslide, although Urban Management Bureaus' responsibilities usually include regulating businesses and construction sites. Officials have labeled the landslide a man-made disaster, raising the possibility of harsh penalties for those held responsible.

Also Sunday, the owner of a gypsum mine in the eastern province of Shandong, Ma Congbo, drowned after jumping into a well in an apparent suicide during rescue efforts for 17 workers still trapped two days after the mine collapsed and killed one person.

Despite the threat of prison time over major industrial accidents, a lack of regulatory oversight and cost-cutting by management often lead to deadly disasters.

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