More than 140 missing as homes buried by China landslide

More than 140 missing as homes buried by China landslide

More than 140 people are feared to have been buried by a landslide that unleashed huge rocks and a mass of earth which crashed into their homes in south-western China early on Saturday, officials said.

The landslide from a mountain engulfed a cluster of more than 40 homes and a hotel in the village of Xinmo at about 6am local time, the government of Mao County in Sichuan province said.

Provincial officials said at noon that 141 people were missing and one mile (1.6km) of road had been buried.

Rescuers pulled out three people, two of whom had survived, the official Sichuan Daily newspaper said on its microblog. The paper also said a family of three, including a month-old baby, managed to escape just as the landslide had started to hit their house.

The landslide blocked a 1.25-mile (2km) section of a river.

Wang Yongbo, a local rescue official, told state broadcaster CCTV that an estimated 105 million cubic feet (3 million cubic meters) of earth and rock - equivalent to more than 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools - had slid down the mountain.

Photos showed an area buried by earth and massive rocks. Emergency responders helped a woman by the road.

Search and rescue efforts were under way involving more than 400 workers, including police. CCTV showed footage of rescuers using a couple of earth movers but also relying on ropes to pull at huge rocks.

More than 140 missing as homes buried by China landslide

A meteorologist interviewed by CCTV said there had been light rain in the area that would continue for a few days.

Mao County, or Maoxian, is home to about 110,000 people, according to the government's website. Most residents are of the Qiang ethnic minority.

The village is known locally for tourism and Chinese reports said it was unclear if tourists were among the people buried by the landslide.

AP

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