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33 dead in Guatemala landslide: rescue workers

by Staff Writers
Guatemala City (AFP) Jan 5, 2009
A massive landslide on a road in northern Guatemala killed 33 people, while dozens more were missing, rescue officials said Monday.

Rescue teams searched for a possible 70 more victims buried after Sunday's landslide in humid conditions, said Sergio Cabanas, a disaster coordinator, on local radio.

Some 140 day laborers had been traveling on the road between Alta Verapaz and Quiche in northern Guatemala, used as an alternative to another route closed due to a previous landslide, official reports said.

"Millions of tonnes of earth and stones dislodged from the hill," Cabanas said.

Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada said Sunday that passages through the area had been closed for four days after construction workers reported hearing earth tumbling down the hill and removed their machinery.

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Blasts at China fireworks factories kill 14: state media
Beijing (AFP) Jan 4, 2009
Fourteen people were killed in two explosions at illegal fireworks factories in China, state media reported on Sunday.

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