Five primary school students have been confirmed dead and one person seriously injured after a landslide hit a village Thursday in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities said.
The landslide occurred at around 8:00 a.m. in the village of Zhenhe, Yiliang County of Zhaotong City, trapping 19 villagers, the county government said.
The landslide, estimated to be around 160,000 cubic meters, engulfed 18 students at a Tiantou Primary School building, the government said.
Two residences near the school were also hit by the landslide, with one adult buried. A family of three managed to escape the landslide before it arrived.
Rescuers had pulled the bodies of five students out of the collapsed school building as of 5:10 p.m., said Liu Lehua, a local education official.
The landslide also blocked a nearby river, forming a barrier lake that is 15 meters wide and seven meters deep, Liu said.
The government has relocated more than 800 residents living downstream to safer places and mobilized nearly 2,000 people to destroy the barrier lake and aid in rescue efforts.
On Sept. 7, multiple earthquakes struck Yiliang and its neighboring areas in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, killing 81 people and injuring 800 others.
As the landslide occurred, the students were making up for classes that were delayed after the earthquakes last month, Liu said.
Classes at the school are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The students who were buried arrived at the school early, Liu said.
The rescuers are working to reach those who are still trapped by the landslide.