Mud flows buries relief workers in China

May 19, 2008 at 6:49 AM

BEIJING, May 19 (UPI) -- Mud flows in China's earthquake-hit Sichuan province buried more than 200 relief workers in the past three days, the government said Monday.

Transport Ministry official Dai Dongchang said the workers were repairing damaged roads when they were engulfed by the mud flows, Xinhua reported.

It wasn't clear whether there were any casualties or how many of the workers escaped.

The region has been pounded by aftershocks since the disaster struck a week ago, causing mud slides and rocks to fall from the mountains, hampering the relief work.

Two construction machines and six vehicles also were buried in the mud flows, the official said.

The country Monday began three days of national mourning to pay respect to the dead now numbering more than 34,000.

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