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Hopes fade for 100 missing in landslide

MAO COUNTY, China – Rescue workers in China yesterday pulled more bodies out of piles of rock and mud as they searched for more than 100 people still missing a day after a landslide buried a mountain village, with hopes fading of finding survivors.

A couple and their two-month-old baby were found alive in the hours after the massive landslide crashed down on the village of Xinmo, in the southwest province of Sichuan as dawn broke on Saturday. But there was no news of any other survivors being found.

A rescue worker guides a sniffer dog to search for victims at the site of a landslide in Maoxian County in southwestern China's Sichuan Province, Sunday, June 25, 2017. Emergency crews are searching through the rubble for victims after a landslide Saturday buried a picturesque mountain village under tons of soil and rocks, with more than 100 people remained missing.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)Nine more bodies were recovered by yesterday morning , according to the official microblog for Xinmo’s propaganda department, bringing the toll of confirmed dead to 24.

There are 109 people still missing.

Geological experts said that chances of survival for the missing were slim, state-owned Xinhua news agency reported.

“We weren’t able to pull anyone out alive,” Wu Youheng who lives in a neighboring village and rushed to help rescue efforts on Saturday, told Reuters. “We pulled out two people but they were already dead. I think it’s too late, they’re unlikely to find anyone else alive.”

Wu said that the area was prone to landslides but the scale of Saturday’s slide was unprecedented.

Wu’s wife, Zhang Xiaohong, said that they often sleep in other villages because of fear of landslides but can’t afford to move to the safer capital of Mao county, where Xinmo is located.

At risk from more landslides in the area, a massive rescue effort involving more than 3,000 rescue workers was underway, Xinhua reported.

The names of the missing were posted on government websites, it said. (Reuters)