Chinese state media has reported that 83 workers have been buried in a massive landslide in Tibet, but that efforts are being made to bring them out alive. The miners became trapped when an early morning landslide buried their mining camp near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The gold mining operation was overwhelmed by nearly 2 million cubic meters of mud and rock.
One report said the landslide was caused by a "natural diasater," without offering any further detail. There have been a couple of small earthquakes in the region in the last 24 hours, but it's not clear if there would be any connection to the two events.
Though China's highest officials have reportedly ordered "top efforts" for a rescue, the situation does not sound promising. Most of the workers were asleep when the landslide happened, the location is at an elevation of more than 15,000 feet, and temperatures are dropping below freezing as night falls. It appears that the workers were not actually in any mining tunnels at the time, so this doesn't sound like a Chilean mine situation that eventually had a mostly happy ending. More than 1,000 rescue workers are on the site and local hospitals are on standby, but according to the AP, no survivors have emerged to be treated as of this writing..
Another landslide in southwestern China back in January killed 46 people when it overwhelmed a small village. We'll update this story as more information becomes available.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.