A Chinese man was found alive after being buried for more than 67 hours in the massive landslide that swept through the Chinese city of Shenzhen last weekend. According to an ABC News report, the man, a migrant worker, was buried under tons of rock and mud for well over 67 hours. He somehow managed to survive all odds and was found alive three days after the landslide, after rescue workers rummaged through the debris. The man has been identified as Tian Zeming, and he is now undergoing medical checks to ascertain if he has any serious injuries.
According to an official identified as Rao Liangzhong from the Shenzhen Emergency Response Office, Tian Zeming is a native of the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. He was rescued at dawn on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wang Yiguo, the doctor treating Tian Zeming, further added “The survivor had a very feeble voice and pulse when he was found alive buried under debris, and now he’s undergoing further checks.”
Later, Chinese state television CCTV News confirmed that Tian Zeming had broken a hand and had badly injured his foot, which was wedged between a door panel. Tian Zeming was trying to get out of the room in the building he was in when the structure collapsed, trapping him inside tons of rubble. However, the door panel behind him could be the reason he survived because it created some space within the rubble for him to breathe and survive for over 60 hours.
When Tian Zeming was eventually found by rescuer, he identified himself and quickly told them to look for another person who was buried near him. The rescuers were however unable to save that person and Tian Zeming was told that the other man did not survive. The news of the death of the other individual was confirmed by neurosurgeon Dai Limeng in a news conference.
While Zeming is lucky to be alive, official estimates say at least 70 people are still missing after the landslide. The incident occurred on Sunday when a huge man-made pile of dirt, cement chunks, and construction waste material piled against a 330-foot mountain slope collapsed and flowed into an industrial park in Shenzhen. The landslide happened after heavy rains lashed the region, causing the soil to loosen and eventually give away.
The force of the landslide destroyed 33 buildings in its path. Initially, there were over 90 people that were reported missing. That number has now come down to less than 70. The Chinese government has confirmed one death in the landslide. However, there are questions being raised about this number already, looking at the massive scale of the disaster. China has also had a history of suppressing actual death tolls during natural and other disasters. Initially, journalists were not allowed to reach the site of the landslide. However, after international pressure, China allowed limited access to over 30 journalists to visit the area. They confirmed that the area was full of state police officials and disease control stations.
Meanwhile, local media outlets reported that the landslide was completely man made and that it could have been avoided. In fact, the local government had only earlier this year identified that the large scale dumping happening by the mountain slope could end up in a catastrophe. However, it seems nothing was done after that to prevent the disaster.
Shenzhen is one of the biggest cities in China and is home to several high-tech manufacturing facilities. Located in southern China, it is very close to Hong Kong and was among the first Special Economic Zones to be set up in China.
[Image: AP Photo/Andy Wong]