10 killed in NW China's avalanche

Updated: 2012-06-07 18:57


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LANZHOU - All the ten workers buried in Tuesday's avalanche in northwest China's Gansu province were confirmed dead as bodies of the last six were retrieved late Thursday afternoon, rescuers said.

The avalanche occurred late Tuesday night in a remote part of Subei County, burying the campsite of the Heicigou Antimony Ore Prospecting Station.

Hu Jianzhong, head of the station, said there were a total of 22 people at the campsite at the time of the avalanche. Ten people were buried, and 12 others managed to escape.

Of the 12 escaped, 10 have been discharged from a hospital. The rest two, whose lives are in no danger, have been transferred to another hospital for better treatment.

Heicigou, situated over 4,300 meters above sea level, is located 180 km away from the county seat of Subei.

Since Monday, the area had been hit by heavy rainstorms rarely seen in the local history, and the local observatory said precipitation exceeded 500 millimeters in the 23 hours prior to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

A heavy snowfall hit the mountainous region on Wednesday, which further aggravated the condition of the rescue work. By Thursday, snow on ground reached 60 cm deep. Rescuers could only reach the avalanche site on foot.

The prospecting team is owned by Subei Jinze Mining Co Ltd. The share-holding company has prospecting rights on a 1,600-square-km area in Subei.