Rain-triggered landslide kills 9 in NW China

Updated: 2011-09-18 10:16


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Rescuers have retrieved five more bodies in a rain-triggered landslide in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, bringing the death toll to nine in Saturday's accident that also wounded five and left an unknown number of people missing. More >>


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XI'AN - A rain-triggered landslide hit two mountain-side factories in Northwest China on Saturday, leaving at least four workers dead and many more missing, local officials said.

About 100,000 cubic meters of rock and mud roared down the mountain at about 2 pm Saturday and engulfed a brick factory and destroyed part of a nearby ceramics factory in a suburban district of Xi'an City, the capital of Shaanxi Province.

Rain-triggered landslide kills 9 in NW China

Rescuers search for survivors after a landslide near a mountain-side factory in suburban Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, Sept 17, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Five people were wounded. Two of them, including an eleven-year-old girl, need surgery, doctors at a hospital told Xinhua.

Local government information office initially put the number of missing at about a dozen but witnesses said it could be dozens. Officials in charge of the rescue said they would determine the number of missing as soon as possible.

A villager from the nearby village of Maoxi said people in the brick factory's workshop and the dormitory who were unable to escape were buried. The factory's chimney was also toppled by the landslide.

More than 700 police, firefighters, and local residents have joined the rescue. Dozens of excavators and ambulances were also mobilized, officials said.

But the rescue become more difficult as the night fell and heavy rain continued, they added.

Torrential rains have been pounding nearly 60 of Shaanxi's counties since September 4, triggering mountain torrents and landslides. Eleven people were killed and 117,000 were forced to evacuate, the provincial civil affairs department said Saturday.

About 26,000 houses collapsed and the direct economic loss was estimated at 1.46 billion yuan ($233.6 million), the department said.

The local disaster relief agency warned that more rains are expected to hit Shaanxi through Monday, urging government departments and the public to guard against rain-triggered disasters.

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