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Landslide Buries Houses at Chinese Mine, 40 Missing

Shaanxi province, China
Shaanxi province, China

A massive landslide has swept through a housing facility at a mining company in northwest China, leaving around 40 people missing, according to state media.

The Xinhua news agency says the early Wednesday landslide in Shaanxi Province buried five dorms and three houses under about a million cubic meters of earth.

Local officials say at least four people have been rescued, and that police, firefighters, mining rescuers and paramedics have been dispatched to the area.

Xinhua says the landslide occurred at the Wuzhou Mining Company. The company mines vanadium, which is used in steel alloys.

Separately, a coal mining accident in southern China left at least 10 people dead and five injured late Tuesday, according to local officials.

Xinhua says the accident appears to have been caused by a gas explosion. It said 56 people have been rescued, and that authorities are searching for several more miners.

Safety standards at China's coal mines are improving, but are still among the worst in the world. Last year, mining-related deaths fell to under 1,000. That is down from a decade ago, when 6,000 people a year died in China's mines.