Skip to main content

Bodies found after landslide buries Chinese school

By CY Xu and Jethro Mullen, CNN
October 5, 2012 -- Updated 0405 GMT (1205 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 18 bodies found, state media says
  • Rescuers arrived to find the side of a mountain had collapsed, police official says
  • Landslide hit an elementary school and two houses, state media report
  • The children were studying during a holiday to catch up, an official says

Beijing (CNN) -- The bodies of 18 children have been found after a landslide buried elementary school students and a villager in southwest China, state media said Friday.

Rescuers found the bodies as they scoured through rubble at a village after the landslide struck the school and two houses in Yunnan province, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

One person is still missing, CCTV reported.

The students were studying Thursday during a public holiday to make up for classes disrupted by recent earthquakes.

Read more: Quakes hit southwestern China, killing at least 80

The village resident was buried in a house, state news agency Xinhua said. A family of three managed to flee before the landslide hit.

Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.  Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.
Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.Yiliang County was recently hit by earthquakes.
Deadly quakes hit southwestern China
Death toll rises to 80 after China quake

Images carried by state media showed men digging with spades on a mound of mud and rocks at the bottom of a steep hillside.

The landslide followed several days of rain, Yang Jianping, squadron leader of Yiliang County Armed Police, said in an interview with CCTV. A military rescue team of 50 soldiers has been dispatched to the area, he said.

"When we arrived, we saw one side of the mountain had collapsed and covered the primary school," he said. "We can't recognize the school at all."

Read related: 6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japanese coast

Yiliang County was hit by a series of earthquakes on September 7 that killed at least 80 people and injured hundreds.

The students were studying to catch up because the earthquakes prompted the suspension of classes for about 20 days, state-run Chinanews.com said, citing the county education commissioner, Li Zhong.

Those who were caught by the landslide had arrived early for class Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Authorities moved other residents to safer locations, Xinhua reported, after fallen debris blocked a river and formed a lake. There is concern the lake may grow, break through the earthen obstruction and send a flood surge downstream.

A woman who answered the phone at the county education commission's office did not provide CNN with any details. She said officials authorized to talk to the media are out helping with rescue efforts.

Calls to the local information office were not answered.

In 2010: Harrowing tales of loss and despair from China landslide

CNN's CY Xu reported from Beijing and Jethro Mullen from Hong Kong.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
See CNN's complete coverage on China.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0712 GMT (1512 HKT)
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is Xi Jinping a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
July 4, 2014 -- Updated 0631 GMT (1431 HKT)
26-year-old Ji Cheng is the first rider from China to compete for competitive cycling's highest honor.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
July 4, 2014 -- Updated 0414 GMT (1214 HKT)
Hong Kong's narrow streets were once a dazzling gallery of neon, where banks and even bordellos plied their trade under sizzling tubular signs.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
Three more officials have been given the chop as part of China's anti-corruption drive, including former aides to the retired security chief.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
As thousands of Hong Kongers prepare for an annual protest, voices in China's press warn pro-democracy activism is a bad idea.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 0437 GMT (1237 HKT)
Hong Kongers are demanding the right to directly elect their next leader, setting up a face-off with Beijing.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0656 GMT (1456 HKT)
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Along a winding Chinese mountain road dotted with inns and restaurants is Jinan Orphanage, a place of refuge and site for troubled parents to dump unwanted children.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0836 GMT (1636 HKT)
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout invites Isaac Mao, Han Dongfang, and James Miles to discuss the rise of civil society in China and social media's crucial role.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0334 GMT (1134 HKT)
Chen Guangbiao wants rich people to give more to charity and he'll do anything to get their attention, including buying lunch for poor New Yorkers.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Architects are planning to build the future world's tallest towers in China. They're going to come in pretty colors.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1147 GMT (1947 HKT)
Anna Coren visits Yulin's annual dog meat festival. Dogs are part of the daily diet here, with an estimated 10,000 dogs killed for the festival alone.
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 0638 GMT (1438 HKT)
People know little about sex, but are having plenty of it. We take a look at the ramifications of a lack of sex education in China.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 0812 GMT (1612 HKT)
Hong Kongers have reacted angrily to a Chinese government white paper affirming Beijing's control over the territory.
The emphasis on national glory -- rather than purely personal achievement -- is key.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
A replica of the Effel Tower in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development located in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province.
What's the Eiffel Tower doing in China? Replica towns of the world's most famous monuments spring up all over China.
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Rapid development hasn't just boosted the economy -- it has opened up vast swathes of the country, says a man who has spent much of his life exploring it.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
The World Cup is apparently making a lot of people "ill" in China.
ADVERTISEMENT