Landslide in Chinese mining region buries 78 | world | Hindustan Times
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Landslide in Chinese mining region buries 78

world Updated: Jun 06, 2009 09:06 IST

Rescuers searched for 78 missing people on Saturday after a landslide buried an iron ore plant and several homes in a valley in southwestern China.

Seven people were rescued, three of which were seriously injured, said an official with the propaganda office in the city of Chongqing, who would only give her surname, Zhu.

More than 500 rescuers looked for the dozens of missing, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The 78 included residents and 27 workers buried in a mine, Zhu said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao ordered local authorities to "spare no efforts" to save those buried, it said. The area where the accident occurred on Friday in Wulong county lies deep in the hills about 90 miles (150 kilometers) from Chongqing's urban center.

Densely populated Chongqing is rich in iron ore, natural gas and other mineral resources, and industrial accidents frequently strike the area.

An official with the Chongqing work safety supervision bureau, who would give only his surname Dong because he was not authorized to speak to media, said the landslide did not appear to be related to mining activities.

Similar landslides have been reported around China, including one last year where at least 277 people were killed when a shoddy holding reservoir burst and a three-story wave of mud and iron-mining waste inundated a valley in Shanxi province in northern China.