Tibet landslide traps 83 gold miners

On Friday, a massive landslide crashing down a mountainside in a gold-mining area of Tibet buried 83 workers Chinese state-run Xinhua media reports.

A three-kilometre-long section of land containing an estimated two million cubic metres of earth and rock slid down a slope and engulfed a workers' camp 70 kilometers east of the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

More than 1,000 police, firefighters, soldiers and medics accompanied by sniffer dogs and rescue equipment have been deployed and around 30 excavators were also digging away at the site in sub-zero temperatures, according to Xinhua.

The Huffington Post reports the disaster is "likely to inflame critics of Chinese rule in Tibet who say Beijing's interests are driven by the region's mineral wealth and strategic position and come at the expense of the region's delicate ecosystem and Tibetans' Buddhist culture and traditional way of life":

The reports said at least two of the buried workers were Tibetan while most of the workers were believed to be ethnic Han Chinese, a reflection of how such large projects often create an influx of the majority ethnic group into the region.