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This photo taken on Thursday shows rescuers searching for survivors at the site of a landslide in Ganluo in China. AFP
More than a dozen workers remained missing on Friday after a landslide in southwest China buried a section of railway that was under repair, according to state media.
The 17 missing people were carrying out maintenance work on the track on Wednesday when the hill above them gave way, China Daily reported.
The landslide in Ganluo county in Sichuan province happened very quickly, a witness told the newspaper.
More than a dozen workers remain missing on Friday after a landslide in SW China buried a section of an under-construction railway.
“I spotted a strange movement on the mountain slope after a truck passed. And I shouted, telling everyone to run away,” said Chen Kun, an official from the China Railway Chengdu Group.
“The rocks and mud fell within two or three seconds...while we were running, we could feel rocks chasing us,” Chen told China Daily.
Rescue operations are under way with 11 workers pulled from the rubble that buried 70 metres (yards) of track, the newspaper said.
The area has been hit by several landslides this summer as massive rains cause hills in the mountainous region to collapse.
Elsewhere in China a wet summer has claimed lives.
Last week at least 18 people were killed in a landslide triggered by torrential downpours in the coastal city of Wenzhou as Typhoon Lekima pounded cities along China's eastern seaboard.
In July, at least 42 died in a landslide which buried a village in Guizhou province, with a thick torrent of mud burying 22 houses.
With its humid, rainy climate, southwestern China is prone to landslides, especially in areas where there has been large-scale shifting of land due to farming, deforestation or engineering projects.
China is facing a series of flooding disasters this summer and extreme heat and drought in other parts of the country. State media has described the heat and drought as the worst since record-keeping started 60 years ago.
Houses and businesses were destroyed in the Saturday night deluge, which left the town of Las Tejerias covered with mud and debris, including felled trees, household items and mangled cars.
Around 1.8 million people have been affected in the largely rural, mountainous province — 286,000 of whom have been evacuated to safety while more than 2,700 houses have been damaged or collapsed entirely, Xinhua said.
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