64 people missing in China landslide presumed dead

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Beijing, Aug 16: The 64 people missing after a massive landslide in northwest China's Shaanxi Province were presumed dead today, after rescuers failed to detect life at the site four days after they were buried under about 1 million cubic metres of mud.

Rescuers conducted a detailed search through the debris in Shanyang County, but couldn't find any survivors, said Guo Lianfeng, a fire fighter at the site.

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Guo said the huge volume of mud and rubble, combined with the risk of a second landslide, had hindered the search, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The 64 people, 48 male and 16 female, were listed missing fter more than 15 dormitories and three houses owned by Wuzhou mining company were buried under about 1 million cubic metres of mud in the mountainous county of Shanyang late Wednesday.

The missing also included seven minors, aged from from eight months to six years, and were local villagers, workers of the mining company and their families, and workers of two other construction teams.

After the landslide, 10 people managed to escape on their own and four others were dug out by rescuers. More than 700 police, firefighters, mining rescuers and paramedics were deployed at the site of the tragedy. Severe weather has been witnessed in China during this monsoon.

Powerful Typhoon Soudelor hit southern China the previous weekend, bringing strong winds and rain. China, world's largest producer of coal, is grappling to find ways to improve standards in the mining sector, where regulations are often violated.

Accidents in Chinese coal mines killed about 930 people last year.

PTI

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