BEIJING — At least 15 people were confirmed dead among the more than 120 people buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in southwestern China early Saturday, officials said.
The landslide, which came from a mountain, engulfed a cluster of 62 homes and a hotel in the village of Xinmo in Mao County at about 6 a.m. local time (6 p.m. Friday ET), the Sichuan provincial government said. Officials said one mile of road was buried in the disaster.
Officials leading the rescue effort told the Chinese state news agency Xinhua that workers retrieved 15 bodies from the debris Saturday night. The outlet said that no new signs of life were found.
About 1,000 workers with life-detection instruments were searching for survivors.
"It's the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake," Wang Yongbo, an official leading one of the rescue efforts, told state broadcaster China Central Television. Wang was referring to China's deadliest earthquake this century, a magnitude 7.9 temblor that struck Sichuan province in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people.