At least fifteen bodies have been retrieved by hundreds of rescuers trying to find survivors among 118 people who are still missing a day after a huge landslide engulfed a village in China’s Sichuan Province.
Rescuers had retrieved 15 bodies from the debris by 10 pm, the rescue headquarters said.
The search and rescue operation was underway overnight and people have been sent to observe potential secondary disasters.
Geological experts at the site said the chance of survival for the people buried was really slim.
Rescuers were combing the area with life detectors and sniffer dogs but no new signs of life have been found.
“We won’t give up as long as there is a slim of chance,” said one rescuer.
Xu Zhiwen, executive deputy governor of the Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Aba said the identities of 118 missing will be soon made public on the government’s website.
Xu also cleared up worries that some tourists might be among the buried as the village is a tourist site.
All 142 tourists who entered the site Friday have reached to safety, said Xu.
The landslide from a high part of a mountain in Aba prefecture hit Xinmo Village in Maoxian County at about 6 am yesterday blocked a 2-km section of the river and buried 1,600 meters of road.
The provincial government has launched the highest level of disaster relief response and sent rescue teams to the site.
Currently, more than 3,000 workers with life-detection instruments are engaged in the search for survivors.