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North China mud-rock flow death toll rises to 128
Updated: 2008-09-10 20:41

TAIYUAN - The death toll from a rain-triggered mud-rock flow in north China's Shanxi Province rose to 128 as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the local rescue headquarters said.

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The accident occurred around 8 a.m. on Monday in a pond holding waste ore dregs of the Tashan Mine in Xiangfen County, Linfen City, which was soaked by torrential rain.

An initial investigation revealed the accident's cause was "the unlicensed Tashan mine operated illegally and the stored waste iron ore dregs had surpassed the capacity of the holding pond," said the rescue headquarters.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, is going to start investigation into the cause of the accident.

Rescue work is under way and the specific number of people trapped underneath the rubble is still under investigation.