A landslide in southeastern China has reportedly claimed the lives of at least 35 construction workers, with one person still unaccounted for and 14 injured taken to hospital for treatment.

The tragedy occurred in the early hours of Sunday, May 8, when a huge mass of mud and rock engulfed the living area of workers building an extension of the Chitan hydropower station in Taining county, Fujian province.

While the cause of the landslide is not yet clear, the mountainous region has been beset by heavy rain since last Wednesday, and flooding and landslides have been reported in other parts of the province.

More than 600 rescuers are currently on site, searching for the missing workers with excavators, hand tools and sniffer dogs.

The disaster is a chilling echo of a lethal landslide in December last year, when a mountain of construction waste swamped a workers’ residence, killing 74 people.

Following that incident, police detained 11 people on suspicion of failing to prevent the disaster.

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