Couple die in landslide at Shijingshan store

By Wei Na Source:Global Times Published: 2012-7-23 1:50:03


A woman peers into a store in Shijingshan district Sunday in which two died after it was engulfed by a landslide Saturday. Photo: Li Hao/GT
A woman peers into a store in Shijingshan district Sunday in which two died after it was engulfed by a landslide Saturday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Two people died and one was injured after a landslide Saturday evening engulfed a small store in Shijingshan district.

The victims were a couple who rented the store in Zhaoshan residential community, and a girl in her 20s hired as a salesgirl.

The girl's legs were broken and she was buried for around six hours, according to witnesses. The couple was deceased when they were dug out around 1 am, said a neighbor, surnamed Lu, who runs the adjacent computer store.  

"It was so sudden. We tried to dig the couple out before rescuers came," he said.

"The dead man, surnamed Liu, rented the place to sell cosmetics, and sometimes they spent the night; fortunately, their 6-year-old daughter was not there," said Lu.

The landslip buried the store around 9 pm Saturday night, one of a row of 13 similar small one-storey buildings.   

"Rocks and a big tree slid down the mountain after the rain and hit the part where the couple slept," said another local resident, surnamed Fan, who said he witnessed two dead bodies covered with sand and mud being carried into an ambulance on Sunday morning.

The door of the collapsed store was locked at 11 am Sunday, with a big hole in the back wall and a pair of slippers covered with mud outside the store. 

"We're too afraid to sleep or even stay here anymore; who knows when another rainstorm may come and kill us all," said another female store owner, surnamed Zhang.

Zhang said Liu Yaquan, vice director of Shijingshan district government, visited the area in the aftermath of the disaster, and asked the local subdistrict office to make preparations for heavy rain which is forecast to hit Beijing later this week.

An anonymous male doctor from Zhaoshan community clinic alleged that there had been safety concerns over the location of the row of storefronts, at the bottom of a mountain, since there was a torrential rainstorm on June 23, 2011.

Residents filed complaints over safety to Shougang Group, which owns the properties, and local government last year, claimed the doctor.

"Shougang said the stores  were perfectly fine then, so there's been ignorance and buck-passing between the company and the government," the doctor said.

Qi Yue, a media officer from Shijingshan district government, said they were unaware of previous safety concerns.  Displaced residents had been accommodated in the local sub-district office, he said.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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