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[BEIJING] At least seven people have died and 57 remain missing more than four days after a landslide hit a mining company in northwest China, the official Xinhua news agency said.
On Sunday evening, seven bodies were retrieved from debris covering employee dormitories in Shanyang county in the northern province of Shaanxi, the news service quoted local rescue officials as saying.
The rescue operation follows a landslide on Wednesday which buried the living quarters of the mining company under one million cubic metres of earth.
The mine's operator was identified by Xinhua as the Wuzhou mining company, which according to its parent company is mainly a vanadium producer.
Search efforts had been hampered by a huge volume of mud and rubble, combined with the risk of a second landslide, rescuers told the news agency.
China - the world's largest producer of coal - is grappling to improve standards in the sector, where regulations are often flouted and corruption enables bosses to pursue profits at the cost of worker safety.
Accidents in Chinese coal mines killed 931 people last year, a top work safety official said in March.