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One more body retrieved in Shanxi fatal landslide
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Rescuers retrieved one more body on Thursday from a fatal landslide in north China's Shanxi Province, pushing the confirmed death toll in the Sept. 8 tragedy to 261.

A man's body was found at about 3 p.m. at a site 30 meters away from the collapsed iron ore retaining pond, rescuers said.

According to the identity card and mobile phone found with the body, rescuers said he was a migrant worker from the central Hunan Province.

It was unclear whether he was included in the 10 people listed as missing on Wednesday when the death toll was 260.

An unlicensed iron ore dregs retaining pond in Xiangfen County burst on the morning of Sept. 8, discharging a huge volume of tailings, mud and rock that devastated a downstream village, an office building and a busy outdoor market.

An initial investigation found the collapse was due to negligence. The tailings dumping pond was built in violation of regulations and had few safety inspections.

The province has launched a thorough safety inspection for retaining ponds.

Zhang Genhu, Shanxi Work Safety Administration director, said all other iron ore mills should suspend operation for safety checks of their retaining ponds, except state-owned facilities which operated on the precondition of safety.

A special campaign to crackdown on illegal retaining ponds would also be carried out within the year, he said, adding all those which were unlicensed or built in violation of regulations would be closed.

The number of retaining ponds in the province was 553. In 2002,the figure was more than 800 but it had been reduced after six years of safety improvements, according to the administration.

(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2008)

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