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Toxic gold sludge buries China village, 17 missing

Written by: Staff

BEIJING, May 2 (Reuters) Seventeen people are missing after a landslide at a gold mine in northwest China engulfed their homes, Xinhua news agency reported.

It said five villagers were in hospital after a cascade of toxic gold tailings buried their homes following the collapse of a dam wall at the mine in Shaanxi province on Sunday.

''The local government has taken emergency measures to prevent the poisonous content in the tailings, including sodium cyanide, from polluting the environment,'' Xinhua said.

Workers were raising the height of the dam to increase its capacity when the accident took place.

Separately, the death toll from a coal mine blast on Saturday, also in Shaanxi, has risen to 30, Xinhua said.

Another two miners were still missing.

China's mining industry is the world's deadliest. Official figures showed that in 2005 some 3,300 coal mine blasts, floods and other accidents killed nearly 6,000 people, while about 1,900 disasters at other types of mines claimed more than 2,300 lives.


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