Eleven people have been arrested and another has reportedly committed suicide in connection with the huge landslide of construction waste in the city of Shenzhen in China.

On December 20, a mountain of earth from a construction waste dump collapsed, engulfing nearby buildings, factories and workers’ dormitories.

The disaster has so far officially claimed 12 lives, but the death toll will certainly rise, with the 62 people still missing now presumed dead, according to Chinese media reports.

Early indications from accident investigators pointed to human error being to blame for the disaster, which struck on 20 December.

One week later, Xu Yuanan, director of the Shenzhen Guangming New District Urban Management Bureau, which approved the waste dump, jumped to his death from a building in an apparent suicide.

Of the 11 people arrested in connection with the disaster, one was a legal representative of the company in charge of the landfill, another was its deputy general manager.

All 11 have been charged with negligently causing a serious accident, while a senior prosecutor in Shenzhen described further suspects as being ‘on the run’.

Since the incident, as many as 200 pieces of earth-moving machinery have reportedly been brought on site, to search for survivors and clear the site.

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