Mar 31, 2013

Tibet Mine Landslide: Hopes Fade For Survivors

Hopes are fading for more than 80 miners buried in a landslide on Friday in Tibet.

Chinese media said the first body had been found - but only 36 hours after the landslip - and that the chances of finding survivors were slim.

The miners' camp, 70km (45 miles) east of Lhasa, was destroyed by thousands of tonnes of rock.

Rescuers have been hampered by freezing weather, altitude sickness and risks of further landslides.

Xinhua news agency said that as of 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT) no survivors had been found and later reported that the first body had been discovered at 17:35 local time.

"The miners' survival chances were slim due to the scale of the landslide," it quoted one rescue worker as saying.

The landslide took place at 06:00 local time on Friday at the mine, which lies at an altitude of 4,600m (15,000ft), burying 83 workers.

Some 2,000 police, firefighters and doctors have been sent to the disaster site, setting up temporary accommodation at a safe distance. About 200 bulldozers have been deployed to shift rock.

Xinhua said cracks on nearby mountains suggested there could be further land slips.

"Temperatures as low as -3C have affected the sniffer dogs' sense of smell," it added.

More than 300,000 cu m of debris had been removed by midday on Saturday.

Source: BBC News


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