President Xi Jinping has ordered all-out efforts to search for and rescue people missing in the recent flood disaster in Sichuan province, as four have been confirmed dead and 48 others are still missing after rainstorms hit Jinyang county in the province's Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture on Aug 21.
In an instruction which was made public on Wednesday, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, also demanded comprehensive investigation and strengthened safety supervision to ensure the safety of the people's lives and property.
Xi called for ensuring appropriate measures to console the families of the victims.
As heavy rains triggered a natural disaster at a highway construction site along a river in Jinyang county, he has asked the State Council to send a task force to conduct a thorough investigation into the disaster and take stern actions against those responsible in accordance with the law.
Lessons must be learned from the disaster and comprehensive checks must be carried out to address problems and risks and ensure that all parties involved earnestly perform their duties, Xi said.
Premier Li Qiang has also issued an instruction, urging prompt efforts to ascertain relevant facts and information, as well as all-out efforts to search for and rescue the missing.
Li called for efforts to identify the cause of the disaster, draw lessons from it and punish those responsible.
Following the orders from Xi and Li, the Ministry of Emergency Management sent a work group to the site to oversee search and rescue operations.
Local authorities in Sichuan province and Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture are also mobilizing rescue forces for relief work.
At a news conference on Wednesday, Yuan Gang, deputy director of the provincial public security department, said that five people from the construction company and a labor service company had been detained on Monday. They are accused of failing to report the accident or deliberately providing false information about it.
A police investigation has found that the people in charge of the project's safety and those on duty on Aug 21 ignored the rainstorm warning and evacuation alerts sent by the local flood prevention and emergency management departments.
No measures were adopted to evacuate workers from the site prior to the accident.
The police investigation has confirmed that there were 201 people at the construction site when the disaster occurred, of which 149 escaped the danger.
Local police are probing the case, while the search for the missing people is still underway.