18 primary school children buried in landslide

18 primary school children buried in
Eighteen primary school students were
buried Thursday when a landslide hit their
school in southwest China as they studied
during a holiday to make up classes lost
due to deadly earthquakes last month.
State television said one person died in the
landslide that struck a classroom building and
two farmhouses in mountainous Yunnan
province, but gave no other details.
The official Xinhua news agency said that
besides the 18 children, a local villager had also
been buried.
The students at the Youfang Primary School
would not normally have been in school this
week as China is on a week-long national
But they were making up for lost time caused by
disruptions stemming from two September 7
earthquakes that struck Yiliang county where
Zhenhe is located, killing 81 people and leaving
hundreds injured.
Web users immediately raised questions about
the decision to have the children back in the
The safety of school pupils is a sensitive issue
after thousands of students died when an 8.0-
magnitude tremor in 2008 rocked Sichuan
province in southwestern China and parts of
neighbouring Shaanxi and Gansu.
“Are the officials all on vacation? Why was there
no alert? Why were there students in school
during the holidays?” a user of leading portal
Sina.com’s popular micro-blogging service
asked after the landslide.
Many schools collapsed in the 2008 quake,
which killed more than 80,000 people in total.
This led to accusations that corner-cutting in
construction projects and possibly corruption led
to shoddy buildings, especially as many
buildings nearby such schools held firm.
Images broadcast on state television showed
rescue personnel picking through landslide
It said the landslide occurred after sustained
rains in the area.

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