China landslide buries school in Yunnan province

Martin Patience describes the rescue operation

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At least five children have died after a landslide buried a school building in south-west China, officials say.

Rescue teams searching for survivors from the class recovered the bodies from the collapsed building.

Nineteen people, 18 of them children, were buried when the landslide hit the school and two other houses in Yunnan province, officials say.

Search teams are still looking for survivors at the site. The landslide hit at 08:00 local time (00:00 GMT).

A series of earthquakes, including one of 5.8 magnitude, hit the province on 8 September, killing dozens of people.


An earlier statement from Yiliang County officials identified the school as the Youfang Primary School in the village of Zhenhe, in Yiliang County, Zhaotong City.

Government officials were later quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying that the school was called the Tiantou Primary School.

Li Zhong, head of Yiliang's education bureau, said that the students were at school during the national holiday to make up for classes suspended after the September earthquake, reports the China News Service.

One family of three managed to flee before the landslide hit, Xinhua said, adding that at least 800 residents had also been moved to safer ground after the landslide.

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