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N China Mud-rock Flow Death Toll Rises to 34

Eight more deaths were reported on Tuesday morning in north China's Shanxi Province, bringing the death toll from the rain-triggered mud-rock flow that caused the collapse of a warehouse to 34, the local rescue headquarters said on Tuesday.

Another 35 people were injured in the accident as of 3:00 AM on Tuesday.

Five experts and more than 150 local medical personnel are treating the injured.

The accident occurred around 8:00 AM on Monday in a warehouse holding waste ore dregs of the Tashan Mine in Xiangfen County, Linfen City, which was soaked by torrential rain.

A rescue team of more than 1,100 police, fire fighters and local people were searching through the rubble, said Ding Wenlu, the rescue headquarters chief.

But rough terrain, poor telecommunications and continuous rainfall hampered the rescue effort.

The mud-rock flow also destroyed a three-story office building, a market and some villagers' houses in the valley.

Witness said the flow roared down the valley and washed away the market and the houses in a few minutes.

Local police said the mine owner and eight others related to the accident had been detained.

There are several other ore mines Xiangfen. The staffs there are mostly migrant workers from Shanxi, Chongqing and the central Hubei Province, which makes it difficult to identify the victims in this accident, rescuers said.

The specific number of the people trapped underneath the rubbles still under investigation.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2008)

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