Dams and Landslides

Landslide death toll rises to 34

Xinhua News Agency
December 3, 2007

The death toll in the landslide in central China’s Hubei Province last month has risen to at least 34, after searchers pulled out one more body from the debris early on Monday.

The latest victim was believed to be Li Qingzhong, a migrant worker who was reported missing after the landslide in Badong county, Enshi Prefecture on Nov. 20, said Wang Jian, a police officer with the Public Security Bureau in Enshi, western Hubei.

Li and three co-workers were clearing water from the road when the landslide occurred at around 8:40 a.m. at the entrance of a rail tunnel. Only one of them survived, with injuries. All the others have since been confirmed dead.

The landslide caused an avalanche of about 3,000 cubic meters of rubble that buried a nearby construction site and a long-distance bus on State Highway 318 running underneath the tunnel. The bus, en route from Shanghai to Lichuan City in Enshi, was believed to have had 30 or so people aboard.

To date, 29 bodies found in the bus have been identified. Relatives claim two more passengers remain missing.

Investigators have yet to identify one body, as well as five body parts that were too badly damaged to tell whether they belonged to one or more victims, said Wu Yong, a spokesman with the rescue headquarters.

He said investigators were using DNA technology to identify the remains of the victims, one of whom he said was probably female, judging from the clothing and formation of the body parts.

Rescuers finished clearing the rubble at 4:00 a.m. on Monday and will soon start repair work at the tunnel and the State Highway 318, which links Shanghai to Tibet.


Categories: Dams and Landslides

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