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China arrests 11 in connection with deadly Shenzhen landslide

Chinese authorities cast a wide net in arresting 11 people in connection with last month's deadly landslide. The accident has renewed questions about China's industrial safety standards.

Chinese authorities have formally arrested 11 people for their role in a deadly landslide last month in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen and charged them with negligently causing a serious accident, state news agency Xinhua said.

The government has blamed breaches of construction safety rules

for the disaster on December 20, when a dump overflowed and engulfed 33 buildings. It has started an investigation.

At least 12 people have been confirmed dead

while 62 are missing, according to Xinhua.

Prosecutors in Shenzhen say a dispatcher and supervisor of the landfill, the chief and deputy manager of a company in charge of the landfill, and seven other people were arrested.

Dozens of excavators are seen during rescue operations at an industrial estate hit by a landslide in Shenzhen, China.

Dozens of excavators are seen sifting through mountains of debris during rescue operations

Others also arrested include a legal representative and a deputy general manager of Shenzhen Yixianglong Investment Development, which ran the dump, and officials who were supposed to be supervising it, according to the Shenzhen prosecutor.

They have been charged with

the crime of negligently causing a serious accident

, and the prosecutor has urged the police to track down other suspects as soon as possible.

It did not elaborate.

Calls to Shenzhen Yixianglong seeking comment went unanswered.

The disaster is the latest deadly accident to raise questions about

China's industrial safety standards and lack of oversight

over years of rapid economic growth.

bik/rg (Reuters, AP)

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