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China: Landslide traps 83 in Tibet gold mine area


09:11 PM March 29th, 2013

March 29th, 2013 09:11 PM

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, earthmovers remove rocks and mud on the scene where a landslide hit a mining area in Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa, southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, on Friday, March 29, 2013. The large landslide trapped dozens of workers in the gold mining area, state media reported. AP/Xinhua, Chogo/NO SALES

BEIJING — Chinese state media say a large landslide Friday trapped 83 workers in a gold mining area in Tibet.

China Central Television cited a local official as saying the landslide occurred early in the morning and covered around 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles) in the Maizhokunggar county of Lhasa, the regional capital.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the workers were from a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp.

The reports said the landslide was caused by a “natural disaster” but did not provide specifics. It was unclear why the first news reports of the landslide came out several hours after it occurred.

Rescue efforts were under way Friday night, the reports said.

County officials reached by phone confirmed the landslide but had no further details. Calls to the company’s general phone line rang unanswered.

Doctors reached at the local county hospital said they had been told to prepare to receive survivors but none had arrived. “We were ordered to make all efforts to receive the injured,” said a doctor who gave only her surname, Ge, in the hospital’s emergency section.

Ge said the hospital transferred some of its patients to other facilities to increase the number of beds available and that 16 doctors were on duty.

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