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14 killed, 18 missing after landslide in central China

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Heavy rain has hampered rescue efforts, authorities say
  • 100,000 cubic meters of rock and mud slide down a mountain in Shaanxi province
  • A team of specialists will investigate
  • China

(CNN) -- At least 14 people were dead and 18 others missing after tons of rock and mud slid down a mountain in central China during the weekend, state-run media reported Monday.

Rescuers retrieved 10 more bodies from the rubble Sunday afternoon, Xi'an vice mayor Zhu Zhisheng told the Xinhua news agency. Five people injured in the landslide were in stable condition at local hospitals, Zhu said.

A team of specialists from China's Ministry of Land and Resources will be sent in to pinpoint the cause of the landslide and to help with the rescue work, said Zhu. The landslides have buried several workshops, a brick factory and a nearby ceramics plant.

Rain triggered the massive landslide Saturday afternoon in a suburb of Xi'an, which is the capital of Shaanxi province.

Rescue efforts -- involving more than 700 police, firefighters and locals, according to Xinhua -- have been hampered by relentlessly heavy rains, which set off off three additional landslides Sunday morning.

Heavy precipitation also caused serious problems in other Chinese communities.

That included a landslide Saturday night that buried a home in Baoji, also in Shaanxi province. Two people who were dug from the rubble were rushed to a nearby hospital but eventually died, the municipal government said, according to Xinhua.

Three people buried underneath a Sunday morning landslide in the same area were rescued and remain in stable condition at a hospital, doctors at the hospital told Xinhua.

In addition, southwest China's Sichuan province has been battered with rains since Friday leaving six people dead and two missing as of Sunday afternoon.

China's Provincial Civil Affairs Department reported that nearly 200,000 people were evacuated, fearing further rain-triggered disasters.

Repair work continued Monday on a flooded main railway line in central Henan province. It was not immediately known when repairs would be complete and traffic could resume on the line.