Search for Tibet miners after landslide buries huts

Rescuers have yet to find any survivors after the landslide

Rescuers have yet to find any survivors after a landslide early on Friday buried 83 Chinese miners as they slept near the Tibetan capital, Lhasa,

Chinese state-run media say 1,000 police, firefighters and doctors have been sent to the disaster site.

The miners' camp, at an altitude of 4,600m (15,000ft) 70km (45 miles) east of Lhasa, was destroyed by thousands of tonnes of rock.

In a separate incident, a gas explosion at a coal mine in Jilin has killed 28.

The Babao mine in the city of Baishan in the north-east of the country is run by the state-owned Tonghua Mining Group.

Another 13 miners were rescued after the explosion at 22:40 (14:40 GMT) on Friday.

Migrant workers

The mine in Tibet, which produces copper, as well as some silver and gold, is operated by a subsidiary of state-owned China National Gold Group, China's biggest gold producer.

Eyewitnesses quoted by Chinese state media describe a large excavator, used for heavy mining work, having been sliced in two.

China's newly appointed President Xi Jinping is said to have ordered authorities to "spare no efforts" in the rescue operation.

But, reports the BBC's John Sudworth, given the scale of the landslide, and the time that has now passed since it struck early on Friday morning, hopes must be fading.

State media reports said most of the workers were ethnic Han Chinese, with two reported to be ethnic Tibetans.

Tibet map

Most were said to be migrant workers from Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces.

A vast amount of debris and land engulfed the workers' camp in Maizhokunggar county, Xinhua news agency reported.

Police said the area that collapsed was up to 4 sq km (1.5 sq miles).

Chinese officials believe the Tibetan plateau has huge resources, including millions of tonnes of copper, lead, zinc and iron ore.

Critics claim that Beijing's interests are driven by a desire to exploit the region's rich mineral wealth.

The government argues its investment brings modernisation and better living standards for local Tibetans.

More on This Story

More China stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.