Rescue personnel search for survivors in a massive landslide in south-west China
Rescue personnel search for survivors in a massive landslide in south-west China

Dozens buried by landslide



Hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers are searching for dozens of people feared buried alive when part of a mountain collapsed in a massive landslide in south-west China, officials said. Seventy-four people were missing after the disaster struck Friday afternoon in an iron ore mining district of the vast Chongqing municipality, a Chongqing government spokesman told a televised news conference.

The figure included 47 miners and 21 local residents. The others were four passers-by and two employees from a telecoms company, spokesman Ai Yang said. Local officials had earlier said 78 were missing. The vice-premier Zhang Dejiang arrived at the site early today to supervise the rescue effort and comfort relatives of the victims, television images showed. Eight people have been rescued from the debris, with three seriously injured and one of those in a critical condition, local officials said. They were all taken to hospital.

The landslide occurred in the remote mountainous region of Jiwei in Wulong district. More than 3.5 million tonnes of mud and rock crashed hundreds of metres down into the valley, burying houses and a working mine, according to estimates quoted by the authorities. Twenty-seven miners were working in the mine at the time of the landslide. Emergency workers were hopeful of rescuing all the miners, unlike victims who were on the surface, who were hit by the debris.

"The important task now is to save the 27 miners," Mr Ai said. About 1,500 people have joined the rescue effort, including volunteers, professional rescue workers and security forces with dogs, to search through the confusion of mud, rocks and debris for more survivors. About 500 rescue workers were dispatched from neighbouring districts to help 400 firefighters, police and other personnel, particularly medical staff, deployed by authorities, according to the local communications department.

The authorities were also concerned about the threat of flooding in the region after the landslide blocked the Wujiang, a tributary of the Yangtze, the official Xinhua news agency said. An investigation has begun into the cause of the disaster, which also cut power lines and communications in several areas. In September last year, at least 277 people were killed in a landslide in the northern province of Shanxi when a reservoir holding mine waste collapsed.

Government investigations found the collapse at the unlicensed mine was a result of negligence and 113 people were punished in connection with the disaster, state media reported in April. China's mining industry is one of the most dangerous in the world. In the latest accident, seven miners were killed in a gas leak at a mine in north-west Xinjiang region, Xinhua said. Official figures show that more than 3,200 workers died in China's notoriously dangerous coal mines last year, but independent observers say the actual figure could be much higher, as many accidents are covered up.

*AFP

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The Specs

Price, base Dh379,000
Engine 2.9-litre, twin-turbo V6
Gearbox eight-speed automatic
Power 503bhp
Torque 443Nm
On sale now