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Floods: Four Schoolchildren, Three Miners Missing

Four school pupils in Jilin Province and three miners in Guizhou Province were missing after floods on Thursday. Also announced yesterday, a bus overturn in Gansu Province killed one and injured 34 the day before, while storms have caused huge economic losses in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.


The four students were on their way home from school in Xiushui Township, Yushu City at about 4 PM when they were swept away by floods caused by rains that hit the city in recent days. Local officials said rescuers were searching for them.


The miners were amongst 25 working underground when Kaiping Colliery in Weng'an County was flooded in the early hours, according to local workplace safety authorities. The mine, which officials said was licensed and had passed safety evaluation, is now having the water pumped out.


The road accident took place at around 6 PM on Wednesday, when a passenger bus on National Expressway No.312 in Wuwei City suddenly overturned, killing the driver on the spot, said local police. The cause is under investigation, and doctors said the injured are in a stable condition.


Heavy rainstorms and hailstones struck northern parts of Xinjiang from Sunday to Wednesday, according to the regional government, causing direct economic losses worth 200 million yuan (US$24 million).


The ensuing floods affected 18,774 people and damaged 26,700 hectares of farmland in the prefectures of Ili, Tacheng and Altay. Local authorities have organized immediate relief work and are helping farmers restore normal production.


(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2005)

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