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Landslide kills 16, traps 49 villagers
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-03 23:17

A disastrous landslide left 49 villagers trapped on Friday after rescuers pulled 11 victims from toppled houses in Nayong County of the Southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Villagers in Nayong County, Guizhou Province, mourn after their families were buried in collapsed houses after a major landslide rocked the region Friday. [newsphoto]

"Excavators are clearing up the rubble and rescue efforts are still under way," said Yang Guoshun, a work safety commissioner with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS). The accident occurred at 3 am.

Wang Zhengfu, the province's vice-governor and other officials arrived at the site shortly after the accident.

There were 19 families living in Zuojiaying Village, which has a total population of 70, Yang said in a telephone interview.

Some 14 people were not at home when the tragedy occurred, he said.

Of the people who were rescued, three were in critical condition. Others were either hospitalized or slightly injured, an official surnamed Chen of the communist Party committee of the county said.

In all, the official told China Daily, the landslide has destroyed 25 houses.

The rescuers included armed police, soldiers and officers of the People's Liberation Army stationed in Guizhou, said Chen.

An investigation will be required to find the reason for the landslide.

Officials said it is hard to predict how long it will take to clean up the debris. Meanwhile, the number of casualties could rise.


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