Beijing, May 6 (PTI) Forty-five people, including several officials, were sentenced up to 20 years in jail for their alleged negligence and involvement in a landslide caused by huge waste dump in which 73 people were killed in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.
Four persons had also gone missing in the landslide in December, 2015.
The suspects were tried in three courts from April 26 to 28 and the verdict was delivered yesterday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported
The suspects, mostly from Hong Ao landfill -- the Yixianglong company which managed the dump site and local governments -- were tried in the Intermediate People's Court of Shenzhen, the People's Court of Nanshan district and the People's Court of Bao'an district.
Long Renfu, boss of Shenzhen Yixianglong, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined around USD 1.5 million for bribery and negligence which led to the accident.
The dump site had a planned storage of four million cubic meters and a maximum stack height of 95 meters, but when the accident happened, its actual storage reached 5.83 million cubic meters and the waste heaps stood as high as 160 meters.
Meng Jinghang, former head of the city administration bureau of Shenzhen, was convicted of abuse of power and taking bribes of 24.9 million yuan and 800,000 Hong Kong dollars. He was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment and fined eight million yuan.
Peng Shuiqing, former head of the Guangming New District management bureau of the Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen, was sentenced to 16 years and fined one million yuan for the same offences.
Another 17 government officials were sentenced to three to seven years in jail for negligence and abuse of power, while 25 were slapped with penalties.
The landslide occurred when a huge waste pile collapsed.
The accident resulted in a direct economic loss of 880 million yuan, and was believed to be caused by mismanagement rather than any geological reasons.