Skip to main content

Bodies found after landslide buries Chinese school

By CY Xu and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 12:05 AM EDT, Fri October 5, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 18 bodies found, state media says
  • Rescuers arrived to find the side of a mountain had collapsed, police official says
  • Landslide hit an elementary school and two houses, state media report
  • The children were studying during a holiday to catch up, an official says

Beijing (CNN) -- The bodies of 18 children have been found after a landslide buried elementary school students and a villager in southwest China, state media said Friday.

Rescuers found the bodies as they scoured through rubble at a village after the landslide struck the school and two houses in Yunnan province, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

One person is still missing, CCTV reported.

The students were studying Thursday during a public holiday to make up for classes disrupted by recent earthquakes.

Read more: Quakes hit southwestern China, killing at least 80

The village resident was buried in a house, state news agency Xinhua said. A family of three managed to flee before the landslide hit.

Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.  Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.
Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.
Deadly quakes hit southwestern China
Death toll rises to 80 after China quake

Images carried by state media showed men digging with spades on a mound of mud and rocks at the bottom of a steep hillside.

The landslide followed several days of rain, Yang Jianping, squadron leader of Yiliang County Armed Police, said in an interview with CCTV. A military rescue team of 50 soldiers has been dispatched to the area, he said.

"When we arrived, we saw one side of the mountain had collapsed and covered the primary school," he said. "We can't recognize the school at all."

Read related: 6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japanese coast

Yiliang County was hit by a series of earthquakes on September 7 that killed at least 80 people and injured hundreds.

The students were studying to catch up because the earthquakes prompted the suspension of classes for about 20 days, state-run Chinanews.com said, citing the county education commissioner, Li Zhong.

Those who were caught by the landslide had arrived early for class Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Authorities moved other residents to safer locations, Xinhua reported, after fallen debris blocked a river and formed a lake. There is concern the lake may grow, break through the earthen obstruction and send a flood surge downstream.

A woman who answered the phone at the county education commission's office did not provide CNN with any details. She said officials authorized to talk to the media are out helping with rescue efforts.

Calls to the local information office were not answered.

In 2010: Harrowing tales of loss and despair from China landslide

CNN's CY Xu reported from Beijing and Jethro Mullen from Hong Kong.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 2:01 PM EDT, Sun April 13, 2014
CNN's Brian Stelter talks with CCTV correspondent Jim Spellman on how the Chinese media has covered MH370's mystery.
China's economy has bested many others in just the past 10 years.
updated 2:02 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
In China, users of the "Life Black Box" website can set up final farewells to their friends in case they suddenly die.
updated 1:32 AM EDT, Fri April 11, 2014
A recent university study claims Chinese micro-blogging activity might not be as vibrant as expected.
updated 6:14 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
Chinese art has been fetching some serious cash -- here's how we can elbow into the market
updated 10:51 PM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
A Shanghainese collector paid $36 million for this tiny cup decorated with chickens.
updated 2:57 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
Ben Richardson on corruption in China: a veil of secrecy shrouds the links between power and wealth.
China's economy is slowing and growth in 2014 could fall short of the government's official target, according to a CNNMoney survey of economists.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is the first foreigner to visit the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.
updated 9:26 PM EDT, Sun April 6, 2014
If the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 caused a rift in China-Malaysia relations, the two countries appear to have put it behind them.
updated 1:17 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Martin Jacques argues that in the twenty-first century, China will challenge our perception of what it is to be modern.
A new survey of university students in China shows where they most want to work. What are the dream employers for Chinese students?
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
What are President Xi Jinping's greatest goals as he visits the EU headquarters in Brussels?
Last year, thousands of Chinese tourists flocked to Yellowstone National Park to view the mountains, the buffalo and Old Faithful.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
A senior Bloomberg News journalist quit his role earlier this month, saying the "mishandling" by his bosses of a story critical of China was behind his departure.
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
"The aim is to let [families of MH370 passengers] express anger while keeping them restrained," says a Chinese official.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama's secret weapon in China? Michelle.
updated 10:53 PM EDT, Wed March 26, 2014
Private schools that employ humanistic pedagogy for young children are becoming popular in China. A look at the factors behind the boom and potential pitfalls.
ADVERTISEMENT