China: Landslide buries 83 in Tibet gold mine areaTHE Associated Press | March 30,2013BEIJING — A massive landslide engulfed a gold mining area in mountainous Tibet, burying 83 workers believed to have been asleep early Friday morning, Chinese state media said.
About 2 million cubic meters of mud, rock and debris swept through the area as the workers were resting and covered an area measuring around 4 square kilometers, China Central Television said.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the workers in Lhasa’s Maizhokunggar county worked for a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corp., a state-owned enterprise and the country’s largest gold producer.
The disaster is likely to inflame critics of Chinese rule in Tibet who say Beijing’s interests are driven by the region’s mineral wealth and strategic position and come at the expense of the region’s delicate ecosystem and Tibetans’ Buddhist culture and traditional way of life.
The reports said at least two of the buried workers were Tibetan while most of the workers were believed to be ethnic Han Chinese, a reflection of how such large projects often create an influx of the majority ethnic group into the region.
More than 1,000 police, firefighters, soldiers and medics have been deployed to the site, about 70 kilometers east of Lhasa, the regional capital. They conducted searches armed with devices to detect signs of life and accompanied by sniffer dogs, reports said.
Around 30 excavators were also digging away at the site late Friday as temperatures fell to just below freezing.
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.
China’s recently appointed President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang ordered authorities to “spare no efforts” in their rescue work, Xinhua said.
County officials reached by phone confirmed the landslide but had no further details, saying that information reaching the main office was limited due to poor cellphone coverage at the site. Calls to the company’s general phone line rang unanswered.
Doctors 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.MORE IN Wire NewsWASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner left open the possibility Monday that the House might pass... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown