36 bodies found in Tibet slide; 47 missing

April 1, 2013 at 8:01 AM

LHASA, Tibet, April 1 (UPI) -- The death toll from a massive landslide in Tibet rose to 36 Monday and it was unlikely survivors would be found among 47 people still missing, officials said.

More than 4,500 rescuers were at the site in a gold mining area where the slide overwhelmed a Jiama Copper Polymetallic Mine worker's camp near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Friday, burying 83 workers, Xinhua reported.

Officials at rescue headquarters said it was unlikely any survivor would be found, China Daily reported.

About 2 million cubic meters (2.6 million cubic yards) of debris and mud from a mountain fell on the site in Zhaxigang village, authorities said. The thickness of the debris is about 30 meters (about 98 feet), rescuers said.

"It's very difficult to find the trapped people because the volume of dirt and stones is too big," one safety official told China Daily. "The power of the landslide was so great."

Huatailong Mining Development Co., a subsidiary of China National Gold Group Corp, began production in the Jiama mining area in July 2010, China Daily said. A manager was quoted as saying the landslide victims were contract workers.

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