Torrential rains in over 60 counties and cities in Sichuan Province since Saturday morning had claimed 14 lives and left six missing by 8 AM yesterday, according to the provincial disaster relief office.
Six were killed when a huge cinder heap collapsed and buried a brick kiln in Xinhua Village, Muchuan County at about 6 AM on Tuesday.
Witnesses said a rainstorm-triggered flood caused a wall at a paper mill to collapse, sending tens of thousands of cubic meters of cinder onto a small brick kiln at which sixteen people were working.
Three managed to escape at the time, and another six were saved by rescue workers and are now receiving treatment in hospital, according to a county government official. One person is still unaccounted for.
Two counties in Sichuan had an estimated rainfall of 200 mm in three days, and the disaster relief office said there have been direct economic losses of 107 million yuan (US$12.5 million) in the province, almost half to agriculture.
(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2005)