Buried pupils declared dead

All 18 pupils who were buried in a landslide which hit their school in a mountainous part of south western China are dead, while one other person remained missing last night.

The Yiliang county government said the children at Tiantou Primary School were declared dead early yesterday, about 18 hours after the landslide smothered the school and three farmhouses in Zhenhe village.

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It said the missing person was in one of the farmhouses when the landslide struck after 8am on Thursday.

The government said the landslide blocked a river, and its water pooled around the buried buildings, hampering rescue efforts.

Officials have yet to give a cause for the landslide but the area has been lashed by rain and was hit by a series of earthquakes last month which left 81 dead and reduced several villages to rubble.