Updated: 05/10/12 : 07:19:51Printable Version
Chinese state media has confirmed that all 18 schoolchildren buried in a landslide in the country’s southwest are dead.
The landslide toppled an elementary school building in a mountainous area of China on Thursday.
Eighteen students were buried at the Tiantou Primary School and a 19th victim was buried in a house, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing local officials.
Another person was seriously injured in the landslide, which occurred in an area ravaged by a deadly earthquake last month.
About 2,000 local people, medics, police and military personnel tried to rescue the victims, the Yiliang county government said.
The landslide hit the school and two farmhouses in Zhenhe village around 8am local time.
More than 800 people living near a river blocked by the landslide were ordered to leave the area.
Rescuers rushed from the Yiliang county seat to Zhenhe three hours away to dig out the students, said Peng Hong, an official with the county foreign affairs office.
Peng said the cause of the landslide was not yet known, but Yiliang was struck by an earthquake last month that killed 81 people and devastated several villages.
In addition, rain has lashed the region of mountains and sheer valleys.
Thursday was a holiday across China, however students were in school to make up for days missed after the quake, Peng said.