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9 people swept away by flash flood in central Chinese city of Xi'an; 8 bodies recovered

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BEIJING — A flash flood has struck a scenic area outside the city of Xi'an in central China, sweeping away nine Chinese tourists, state media reported Tuesday. Eight bodies have been recovered.

The flood struck Xiaoyuhecun Valley on Monday afternoon amid the heaviest rains recorded in the area in 30 years, the reports said.

A team of about 200 police officers, firefighters and paramilitary troops searched the area overnight, recovering eight bodies by Tuesday morning, the Xinhua News Agency said.

A former imperial Chinese capital, Xi'an lies in a greenbelt along the ancient Silk Road surrounded by the mountainous, mostly arid, province of Shaanxi.

Many Chinese scenic sites suffer from chronic mismanagement, poor crowd control and other safety issues.

Emergency services in Xi'an either did not answer calls or said they had no information about missing people or an investigation into the incident.

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