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Snowstorms in SW China leave four dead, 1,000 stranded
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09:54, February 06, 2008

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Four teenagers on Tuesday were found dead, and more than 1,000 migrant workers were still stranded in snowstorms that have been ravaging the western part of Yunnan Province in southwest China since late January, said local sources.

The teenagers, all boys, together with three other adults were said to have lost their way back home to Pianma, a town on the Sino-Myanmar border, after the blizzard blocked the highway connecting Pianma and Liuku, also known as Lushui.

The group, later identified as staffers of a local health clinic of Pianma and students of a local middle school, were reported missing on Jan.31 while attempting to get through a mountain pass.

The three adults were found alive by frontier guards later that day and were escorted back to their workplace.

The bodies of the four teenagers were found on Tuesday, according to Wang Zhenghong, a leading officer with Nujiang frontier guard detachment.

Shen Yu, political commissar with the detachment, said Pianma had been isolated after the Liuku-Pianma highway was blocked by the snowstorms in Nujiang. The snow accumulated near the mountain pass was two meters deep, he said.

More than 2,000 migrant workers, mostly locals of Yunnan who were on a home-coming journey to celebrate the forthcoming Spring Festival, had been stranded and could not travel further inland because of the blockage of the Liuku-Pianma highway.

These migrant workers had been working with construction or service trade sectors in Myanmar. By 5 p.m. on Tuesday police had helped about half of them to complete their journey.

Source: Xinhua

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