By Beth Main
Authorities in South Western China have apologised to the families of victims for hasty cremations after the recent landslide in Zhaotong in Yunnan province that left 46 people dead.
27 adults and 19 children were killed in the landslide that happened early on Friday morning January 11, burying 16 homes in Gaopo village.
Local authorities had cremated all of the victims by Sunday and families gathered on the road to the landslide rescue and disaster relief headquarters to protest on Sunday night.
Authorities claim that they cremated the victims remains so quickly as there was no refrigerator in the morgue, they wanted to avoid the spread of disease and also to spare the families the gruesome sight of their loved ones bodies.
State news agencies report that authorities issue their ‘sincerest apologies’ to the families for acting too hastily and without informing them. Relatives are particularly grieved as there was no opportunity for the local traditional of burial, particularly important to many residents of the Yi ethnic minority.
The cause of the landslide is still being investigated although some have blamed it on a local mining operation. Initial investigations blamed recent extreme weather conditions.