Rescuers in Tibet digging for victims of a huge landslide at a gold mining site found one body on Saturday, a day after 83 workers were buried in the disaster, Chinese state news media reported. The fate of the other victims was unknown.
The workers were buried early on Friday when about 2.6 million cubic yards of mud, rock and debris swept through the mine in Gyama, a village in Maizhokunggar County, about 45 miles east of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and covered an area measuring around 1.5 square miles.
More than 3,000 rescuers with sniffer dogs and excavators were scouring the high-altitude, mountainous area on Saturday, but search efforts were slowed after snow started to fall early in the afternoon, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Xinhua said the body was retrieved at 5:35pm, nearly 36 hours after the landslide slammed through the area.
The disaster has highlighted the extensive mining activities on the Tibetan plateau and prompted questions about whether they have been excessive and are destroying the region’s fragile ecosystem.
Criticisms, however, only flashed through China’s social media on Saturday before they were scrubbed off or blocked from public view by censors.
Officials in Beijing said the cause of the disaster had yet to be fully investigated.