North China landslide knocks over homes, killing 7

BEIJING — Hundreds of police, firefighters and medical personnel joined rescue efforts on Saturday after a landslide in northern China knocked down several buildings, killing seven people and leaving 13 others missing.

The landslide hit Xiangning county in Shanxi province early Friday evening, provincial authorities said. Two residential buildings, home to a total of 14 households, and a public bathhouse collapsed under the weight of the falling earth.

State television CCTV said seven people were confirmed dead as of Saturday afternoon. It said 20 others had been rescued from the debris and 13 remained missing.

CCTV showed massive piles of crumpled walls and roofs on the side of a slope. Some buildings remained intact, while others were reduced to rubble.

Working through Friday night, firefighters pulled several children out from under structures that had given way. CCTV showed a firefighter lifting up a 9-year-old boy who was nearly crushed by a sofa. The rescue workers pulled the boy onto a soft surface and told him, "Don't worry, everything will be OK soon."

Six hundred police and medical personnel were on site to help with the rescue effort, the Shanxi government said.

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