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Diggers lifted to landslide site

AN MI-26 heavy-lifting helicopter arrived in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality yesterday and began carrying in heavy machinery needed in the search for 63 people missing after a massive landslide last Friday.

Rain had delayed the helicopter's arrival since Sunday.

The heavy machinery will be used to remove giant rocks that buried two entrances of an iron ore mine, where 27 miners are believed to be trapped.

The MI-26 is the world's largest helicopter with a maximum load of 20 tons.

A member of the rescue team surnamed Jiang said the rescue plan was to drill a hole through which they could put life detection instruments.

If there were signs of life, rescuers would use explosives and heavy machinery airlifted by the helicopter to clear the mine entrance, he said.

A rescue headquarters spokesman said if the trapped miners could find water in the mine, they could have a chance of survival.

Hundreds of rescuers have worked by hand in dangerous landslide rubble since the landslide, under the risk of secondary disasters.

Local authorities moved 141 residents from the area.

Eight injured people who were found by rescuers on Saturday were all described as stable yesterday. Rescuers have found nine bodies so far. Three of the dead have been identified by DNA tests.


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