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Landslide in central China traps 60 people in mining community

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BEIJING — A midnight landslide at a mining community in central China buried several dormitories and homes, leaving more than 60 people missing, local authorities said Wednesday.

The provincial government of Shaanxi said 15 dormitories belonging to the Wuzhou Mining Co. were buried along with three homes in the mountainous county of Shanyang, and that 14 people had been rescued.

It said authorities have dispatched more than 700 rescuers to the site, where rocks continued to roll down mountain slopes.

Photos posted by the provincial fire department showed firefighters with sniffer dogs searching for possible survivors. They also used heavy machinery to remove debris.

State broadcaster CCTV said the area was struck by recent heavy rains.

Rescuers were hampered by steep and rough terrain, and were filling in a stream to build a road to allow heavy machinery better access to the site, CCTV said.

Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered all-out rescue efforts and a thorough check of potential hazards.

The company mines vanadium, an element used in steel alloys.

Deforestation and soil erosion are major problems in Chinese mountainous areas, where mining, road construction and logging have stripped slopes of vegetation.

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