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58 People Saved from Quake-hit SW China, Rescue Remains Difficult

Rescuers have saved 58 people trapped under collapsed buildings and rubbles in quake-hit regions in southwest China, said the spokesman of the China Seismological Bureau (CSB) on Tuesday.

Rescue teams sent by the CSB, Sichuan Province and Chongqing municipality have rescued 21 people, 22 people and 15 people respectively, said CSB spokesman Zhang Hongwei.

"The rescue work remains very difficult," he said.

A 214-member CSB rescue team has rushed to Wenchuan County in northwestern part of Sichuan, where the epicenter is located, he said.

They arrived at Dujiangyan City, the nearest reachable city to Wenchuan County, at about 2:00 AM Tuesday and have started working.

The team is made up of 44 rescue experts and seismologists, 22 medical workers and 148 engineers together with 12 search and rescue dogs and two rescue vehicles, Zhang said. "The team is working round the clock at two rescue sites respectively."

Besides the CSB team, several other rescue teams sent by provincial seismological departments, are working at the site as well.

More than 11,900 people were killed in the earthquake, the most deadly one in China since the Tangshan quake in north China in 1976.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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