A 19-year-old man of Chongqing was pulled out alive on Wednesday at 3.30 am more than 60 hours after being buried when a waste heap collapsed on an industrial estate in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, state media said.
Migrant worker Tian Zeming, who was found at 1 am local time in a coherent state but his legs had been crushed, the report by the official Xinhua news agency said.
“He told the soldiers who rescued him, there is another survivor close by,” Xinhua said.
But rescuers found that other person dead.
According to Wang Guangming, president of Guangming New District Central Hospital, Tian’s condition was stable after undergoing surgery for serious injuries in the legs and all over his body.
Although rescuers, using three separate life detectors, located him at 1 am, it took another three hours for them to reach him on the top floor of the buried building after digging an eight-meter deep hole.
Even then, pulling him to safety proved difficult as he was almost buried under the debris.
Tian was still conscious when rescued. He was given oxygen and an intravenous drip while rescuers removed the rubble around him by hand.
The government has said more than 75 people are still missing in China’s latest industrial disaster, although this figure continues to be revised down as authorities make contact with people who were believed to have been buried .
Among the people still listed as missing are 50 men and 25 women, Shenzhen Vice Mayor Liu Qingsheng said.
Some relatives questioned why work appeared to be halted for around five hours from late Monday to early Tuesday during a “golden” window.
The vice-president of dump site company Shenzhen Yixianglong Investment and Development was detained on Tuesday afternoon.
Police stormed the office, confiscating a computer and documents, and took away Yu Shengli whose firm owns, operates and manages the waste dump at a disused quarry in Hongao.
The company might have made 7.5 million yuan from its prolonged use of the site in breach of regulations, state media reports said Wednesday.
The construction waste dump was approved for one year in February 2014, the state-run Global Times reported, but was reportedly still operating in December this year.
The waste dump at a disused quarry collapsed on Sunday, sending a wave of construction debris and red mud across the industrial park.
The dump in the village of Hongao had been piled 90 metres high and too steeply, according to the ministry of land and natural resources.