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Teacher, 3 students killed in mudslide

By Zhu Lixin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-03 09:01

Photo from Sina Weibo

A teacher and three students from Southwest Petroleum University were killed in a sudden mudslide during field research in Aksu, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Monday.

The university, located in Chengdu, Sichuan province, confirmed the deaths on Sina Weibo and said on Thursday that the four victims' bodies had been recovered.

Family members of the victims arrived in Aksu on Wednesday.

According to statements from the university, Li Shiqin, an assistant professor from the School of Geoscience and Technology, led four postgraduate students on a geological survey trip for scientific research.

The mudslide struck around 7 pm on Monday, killing Li and three of the students. A student surnamed Hu survived and was hospitalized for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Li, 38, held a PhD in structural geology from Zhejiang University. She was killed along with two female students, age 23 and 24, and one male student, 24.

The university's Sina Weibo account, which has turned its logo black and white in memoriam, said the four will be remembered forever.

"We tell stories of the earth and will eventually return to the universe," it said.

Photos posted by Hu on Sina Weibo showed the team doing research in a barren area. The team had done field research in Sichuan's Mount Emei area starting on July 10 and then went to Xinjiang on July 25.

A student at the school, surnamed Zhang, who took classes from Li was cited by news website thecover.cn as saying that field trips are mandatory for structural geology majors. Every winter and summer, students take trips with teachers.

"There are not many female geology professors like Li, who devoted herself to scientific research," Zhang said. "She spent most of her time on academic research with students."

Li also had a child in kindergarten, Zhang said.

The Sichuan education authority urged all schools to check students' group activities during the summer vacation to ensure safety.

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