China landslide death toll climbs to 22, 17 still missing
A landslide at a Chinese construction site has killed at least 22 people, with 17 others still listed as missing, media reports.
Heavy rain on Sunday triggered a landslide which destroyed a temporary shed used by workers at the site of a hydropower project in China’s southeastern province of Fujian, burying them under mud and rocks, Chinese official news agency, Xinhua reported.
“As of 1 p.m., 22 bodies had been found at the scene and two people who were on the missing list had been found alive and safe,” Xinhua quoted an official as saying.
A number of others were being treated in hospital for bone fractures and other injures, the news agency reported.
Officials said rescue projects with more than 600 rescuers, including firefighters and police, were underway despite persistent rain that has made the operation more difficult.
The National Meteorological Center warned that heavy rain could cause more landslides in the area.
President Xi Jinping called for “maximum efforts” for the rescue while Prime Minster Li Keqiang urged the Ministry of Land and Resources to coordinate with local authorities on the search and rescue mission.
The National Meteorological Center has also warned the residents to beware of possible landslides brought on by the heavy rain.
Sunday’s landslide is not the first such incident in China. In December, another landslide occurred in the southern city of Shenzhen and buried 77 people.
Beijing blamed breaches of construction safety rules for that disaster and a number of officials have been arrested.
In November, a similar slide claimed the lives of 38 people in the country’s eastern province of Zhejiang.