China: Fourteen people were killed and five are missing following a landslide in southwestern China’s Sichuan province on Sunday, the local government said.
The “collapse took place high on a mountain” at 6 am (2200 GMT Saturday) at a state-owned forestry station in Jinkouhe, near the city of Leshan, the local government said in an online statement.
“As of 3:30 pm, the remains of 14 victims have been recovered, while five people remain missing,” it said.
Authorities sent more than 180 people and a dozen pieces of rescue and recovery equipment to the site, according to the statement.
“Currently, search and rescue work is urgently underway,” it said.
The site is in a mountainous region about 240 kilometres (150 miles) south of the provincial capital Chengdu.
Landslides are a frequent danger in rural and mountainous parts of China, particularly during the rainy summer months.
Contacted by AFP, an official in Jinkouhe’s publicity department declined to give further comment on Sunday’s landslide.
The settlement of around 40,000 people lies between verdant mountains and a wide river and its economy largely runs on forestry, power generation, agriculture and other industries.
Remote and densely forested, much of Sichuan is particularly prone to disasters.
Extreme weather triggered a series of landslides in the province in 2017, including one that completely buried the mountain village of Xinmo, entombing more than 60 homes.
In 2019, massive rains again caused a slew of landslides, including one that buried a section of railway under repair and those working on it.
The province is also seismically active and periodically experiences deadly earthquakes.
A 7.9-magnitude quake in 2008 left more than 87,000 people dead or missing, including 5,335 school pupils.
Although China has strengthened safety protocols in its extractive industries in recent years, accidents still frequently occur.
More than 50 people were declared “missing or dead” after a slope collapsed at a mine in the northern Inner Mongolia region in February.
And around 40 people were working underground when a gold mine in the northwestern Xinjiang region collapsed in December.