Landslide in southwest China buries 18 students in collapsed school building

A landslide toppled an elementary school building and buried 18 students Monday in a mountainous southwest China county recovering from a recent earthquake.

The landslide smothered the Youfang Elementary School and hit two farmhouses in Zhenhe village around 8 a.m., the Yiliang county government said on its website. Another person was buried in a house.

Rescuers rushed from the Yiliang county seat to Zhenhe three hours away to dig out the students, said an official with the county foreign affairs office, Peng Hong.

Rain has lashed the region of mountains and sheer valleys, though Peng said the cause of the landslide is not yet known.

Yiliang was struck by an earthquake last month that killed 81 people and devastated several villages. Though Thursday was a holiday across China, students were in school to make up for days missed after the quakes, said Peng.