China landslide: All 18 children killed

Martin Patience describes the rescue operation

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Eighteen Chinese children missing after a landslide buried their primary school have died, officials have confirmed.

Rescuers found the body of the last missing child early on Friday, state media reported. A missing adult has also been found dead, bringing the death toll to 19, it added.

The landslide hit the Tiantou Primary School and nearby houses in Yunnan province, southern China, on Thursday.

Some 800 people were forced from their homes in Yiliang county.

One other person also suffered serious injuries after the landslide, according to the Yiliang government website.

This week is a school holiday in China, but the children were called in to make up for time lost as a result of earthquakes last month.

A series of tremors hit the province on 8 September, killing dozens of people.

The victims were students from the Shangba Primary School, Xinhua news agency reported.

Three buildings at the school were damaged in the earthquakes in early September and later demolished. As a result more than 30 students had to attend lessons at Tiantou Primary School.

Earlier reports in state media had identified the school as Youfang Primary School.

Safety in schools has been a major public concern in China since a devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in 2008 killed tens of thousands of people.

Many school buildings collapsed in that earthquake, leading to public outcry over shoddy construction and the lack of safety measures.

The landslide on Thursday also buried three houses and blocked a nearby river, reports said.

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