Six confirmed dead in south China landslide

NANNING, Nov 24, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- All the six missing people had been confirmed dead as of Monday night and six more were treated in hospital after a landslide in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday, the rescue headquarters said.

The body of the sixth person was excavated at 11:40 p.m. Monday after more than 30 hours of arduous search by fire-fighters, said Liang Yaode, an official of Hechi City in northern Guangxi.

The landslide occurred at around 11:37 a.m. in Fengshan County of Hechi, when about 21,000 cubic meters of rock and soil buried 16 buildings, including at least two homes, said county chief Huang Deyi.

At least two tractors, a car and a motorbike were buried in the rubble as the landslide buried more than 300 meters of a pivotal highway in the county, Huang said.

A villager said the site of the landslide was a long deserted quarry. "Rocks occasionally fell down the slope during heavy rain," said a man surnamed Luo. "But we haven't had any rainfall for days. It's strange how such a massive landslide could have occurred."

The local government launched all-out rescue operation immediately after the accident and had retrieved five bodies by 0:15 a.m. Monday, said Xiong Chaofu, the county's deputy chief.

He said the dead, one of whom was a woman, included residents and passers-by.

The accident also caused six injuries, two of which were critical. However, there was no danger to their life, Liang Yaode said.