Former top Chinese official commits suicide after landslide disaster

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A former senior official in China who was in charge of an agency responsible for regulating a waste heap that collapsed last week with the loss of more than 70 people has committed suicide, police said on Monday.

The government has not blamed anyone for the disaster in the southern city of Shenzhen on Dec. 20, when the dump overflowed and engulfed 33 buildings in an industrial park, but on Saturday it blamed breaches of construction safety rules.

Two people have been confirmed dead while more than 70 are missing.

The former director of the Guangming New District Urban Management Bureau, a man surnamed Xu, had committed suicide, district police said in a microblog post, adding that police had received a report that a person had fallen from a building late on Sunday.

Police made no link between Xu’s death and the disaster. The government had warned earlier that those held responsible would be “seriously punished in accordance with the law”.