18 students killed in China landslide

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 05, 2012 02:52 hrs

Beijing: All 18 primary school students who were buried in a landslide Thursday in southwest China's Yunnan province have died, officials said early Friday.

The disaster, which occurred in Zhenhe village of Yiliang county, affected more than 800 people, Xinhua cited the county government as saying.

The landslide had earlier buried 19 people, including the 18 students at the Tiantou Primary School. The other man was a villager, who is still missing, the government said.

Six houses near the school were also hit by the landslide. Thursday's landslide also blocked a nearby river.

Yiliang was struck by multiple earthquakes Sep 7, which left 81 people dead and 800 injured.

The government evacuated more than 800 residents living downstream to safer places and mobilised nearly 2,000 people for rescue work.

All the dead were students from the Shangba Primary School, the county education bureau said.

Three buildings of their school were damaged in the earthquakes in September. They were demolished later, forcing 30 students to take lessons at the nearby Tiantou school.

On Thursday, the students were preparing for classes, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., when the landslide occurred. They were taking classes despite the ongoing National Day holiday to make up for gap in their studies caused by the quakes.

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