China / Society

Villagers demand reinvestigation into landslide

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-16 15:32

ZHENXIONG, Yunnan - Seventy-two villagers in Southwest China's Yunnan province that was hit by a fatal landslide last Friday sent a joint letter to authorities on Wednesday, demanding a reinvestigation into the cause of the accident.

Zhao Mingcai, whose nine family members were killed in the landslide, told Xinhua that the letter writers from the affected village of Gaopo, Zhenxiong county, called for the Ministry of Land and Resources, the State Administration of Work Safety and the China University of Geosciences to reinvestigate the landslide as they did not accept their previous conclusion that natural phenomena were to blame.

As villagers speculated the landslide was related to local mining activities, they came to doubt the judgment of the geological experts because they never got access to mines in the village, according to Zhao.

"A miner said that the village's mining field is adjacent to the landslide zone. I believe him though he could not offer evidence," Zhao said.

Forty-six people, including 19 children, were killed in the landslide. Another two people were injured.

The head of a group of geological disaster prevention experts under the provincial land and resources bureau, said on Saturday at a press briefing that steep slopes, unstable soil and recent precipitation contributed to the landslide. He said earthquakes that jolted the nearby Yiliang county on September 7 of last year were also a factor.

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