UPDATES DEATH TOLL
By Mahmut Atanur
BEIJING (AA) – At least 35 people have been confirmed dead after a landslide struck a construction site at a hydropower station in southeast China's Fujian province.
State news agency Xinhua cited sources in mountainous Taining County as saying Tuesday that one other person remained missing, despite earlier reports putting the death toll at 34 with four others unaccounted for since the disaster early Sunday .
China Radio International (CRI) reported that another 14 people were still receiving treatment at a nearby hospital after sustaining injuries in the incident.
Li Xiaoqiang, chief of the hospital’s surgery department, was quoted as saying that the majority of the patients are in a stable condition.
"Previously we worried that the extensive crush injuries will affect the victims' renal function, but it turned out that the effects of the impact were not that great,” Li said. “Some victims just had scratches and as long as their company allows, they can return home in two or three days."
A survivor, Yu Jingui, said he had been sleeping in his dormitory when the landslide hit buildings at the construction site, where iron sheets collapsed on him and his colleagues.
"We were staying far from the ditch, while the two rooms nearest the ditch had all but been buried under the mud. The situation was better for us as we were far from that ditch,” he told CRI.
“The falling debris flow pushed us away to the opposite side, and at that time there were few rocks but only mud at that area. The iron sheets suddenly dropped onto our bodies," he added.
Workers were reported to have been sleeping when around 100,000 cubic meters (3,531,467 cubic feet) of mud and rocks buried a temporary shed and damaged office buildings at the site.
Heavy rains have been battering the region for a week.
The China Meteorological Administration warned Tuesday that more rainstorms were expected to hit Taining, while the state flood control authority issued alerts for eight rivers in Fujian, according to the China Daily.
Meanwhile, state news agency Xinhua reported that as of late Monday, at least nine people had died -- one after being struck by lightning -- and three others were missing amid heavy rainfall across several southeast provinces.