Local authorities now say 59 men and 32 women are still missing after a landslide toppled buildings at an industrial park in China on Sunday, according to theAssociated Press.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have ordered immediate rescue efforts. More than 1,500 police officers, firefighters, and medical staff have been dispatched to the scene, Xinhua reported.
Signs of life have been reported at three different locations of the site of the landslide, officials at the rescue headquarters said.
On Sunday, the ministry of public security’s firefighting bureau announced in an online statement that seven people had been rescued after 33 buildings were buried in the southern city of Shenzhen, according to the AP.
Li Yikang, the deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen city government, had originally said at a news conference that 17 men and five women were missing. He said more than 900 people had been evacuated, the AP reported.
Some 1,500 rescue workers were at the scene and an area of 24,000 square yards (20,000 square meters) has been covered with soil, according to the BBC.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, two workers’ dormitories were among the buildings affected.
In a statement, the Shenzhen municipal government said the landslide had also triggered an explosion at a nearby gas station.
The Ministry of Land and Resources said the debris in the landslide originated in a man-made pile of dirt and construction waste that had become 330-feet tall over two years, according to the AP.
Persistent rainfall in the region had caused the pile to collapse with a tremendous amount of force.
“The pile was too big, the pile was too steep, leading to instability and collapse,” the ministry said.