|Photo taken on March 30, 2013 shows the accident site after a major landslide hit a mining area of Tibet Huatailong Mining Development Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corporation, in Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. A total of 83 workers were buried in the landslide, which happened on Friday morning. Rescuers have not yet found survivors or bodies 28 hours after the massive landslide. (Xinhua/Zhang Quan)
MAIZHOKUNGGAR, Tibet Autonomous Region, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers had not yet found survivors or bodies 28 hours after a massive landslide buried 83 miners at a polymetal mine in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, authorities said on Saturday.
A spokesman for the regional government said at a press conference that the identities of the buried have been confirmed and rescue work was continuing.
Potentially invaluable in the rescue, an excavator was broken in the landslide and has been pulled out of the debris, and rescuers were seen digging with their bare hands, as the narrow and damaged local roads had prevented much large-scale machinery from entering, said Xinhua reporters at the site.
Snow started to fall in the area at 1 p.m. on Saturday, which made conditions for the rescue more difficult, they added.
The landslide happened at about 6 a.m. on Friday in Maizhokunggar County of Lhasa, the regional capital, which is within the Jiama Copper Gold Polymetallic Mine, about 68 kilometers from Lhasa.
The victims were workers from Tibet Huatailong Mining Development Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the China National Gold Group Corporation.
As the site is at an altitude of more than 4,600 meters, most rescuers have been suffering from slight altitude sickness, according to one member of the group. Further minor landslides have also hampered their efforts. Temperatures as low as minus three degrees Celsius have also affected the sniffer dogs' senses of smell.
He said the miners' survival chances were slim due to the scale of the landslide.
The affected area is 3 km wide and 30 meters deep in average, covered with about 2 million cubic meters of mud, rock and debris, a Xinhua reporter said from the disaster site.
As of noon time, more than 300,000 cubic meters of debris had been removed, according to Jiang Yi, an armed police officer engaged in the rescue.
Jiang said there were cracks along nearby mountains, which indicated a possibility of subsequent disasters. A team consisting of geological experts has been organized to monitor the geological situation.