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15 found dead in SW China landslide burying 120

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-25 08:02

15 found dead in SW China landslide burying 120

Rescuers work at the accident site after a landslide occurred in Xinmo village of Maoxian county, Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture of Aba, Southwest China's Sichuan province, June 24, 2017. The rescue headquarters of the landslide in Sichuan province has said the landslide buried 62 homes, and more than 120 people are thought to be missing. Currently, more than 1,000 workers with life-detection instruments are engaged in the search for survivors. [Photo/Xinhua]

MAOXIAN, Sichuan - Fifteen people have been confirmed dead in a landslide in Southwest China's Sichuan province early Saturday that buried more than 120 people from 62 homes.

Rescuers had retrieved 15 bodies from the debris by 10 pm Saturday, the rescue headquarters said.

The search and rescue operation was underway overnight and people have been sent to observe potential secondary disasters.

Rescuers were combing the area with life detectors and sniffer dogs but no new signs of life have been found.

"We won't give up as long as there is a slim of chance," said one rescuer.

Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture of Aba that the landslide stuck, said the identities of 118 missing will be soon made public on the government's website.

Xu also cleared up worries that some tourists might be among the buried as the village is in a tourist site.

All 142 tourists that entered the site Friday have been reached, said Xu.

The landslide from a high part of a mountain in Aba prefecture hit Xinmo village in Maoxian county at about 6 am, blocking a 2-km section of river and burying 1,600 meters of road.

The provincial government has launched the highest level of disaster relief response and sent rescue teams to the site.

Currently, more than 3,000 workers with life-detection instruments are engaged in the search for survivors.

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