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Sichuan slides leave at least eight missing

[ 2011-07-04 13:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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Heavy downpours caused havoc in Southwest China's Sichuan province at the weekend, triggering mudslides that cut off highways and leaving at least eight people missing.

Rain-triggered mudslides cut off access to an important highway in the province but did not lead to any injuries, said police on Sunday.

State Highway 213, which links Sichuan with neighboring Gansu and Yunnan provinces, was referred to as a "lifeline" by rescue workers following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan.

The highway was a crucial channel for rescuers taking aid and supplies to Yingxiu township of Wenchuan, where the quake's epicenter was located.

A local traffic officer said that heavy rains triggered at least five mudslides along the road at the weekend, burying a section of the highway in Yingxiu.

Also in Sichuan, eight people were missing after a mud and rock flow caused by heavy rain hit a dormitory building at a chemical plant early Sunday, local police said.

The accident happened shortly after midnight in the suburbs of Maoxian county, said a spokesman with the local fire prevention center.

When rescuers arrived at the site at 12:35 am, the first two stories of the four-story building were buried and dozens of people were stranded, he said.

Rescuers used safety ropes to move the trapped workers to the fourth floor before helping them down to the ground. The spokesman said that 27 workers had been saved by 2 am.

No bodies had been uncovered at the site at the time.

The heavy rain also delayed 47 flights and stranded more than 5,000 passengers in Sichuan on Sunday afternoon, said airline sources.

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Sichuan slides leave at least eight missing

Sichuan slides leave at least eight missing

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.