Several missing after deadly bus plunge during Chinese floods

China, flooding

At least three people have died and 11 others are missing after a bus fell into a river in northern China as flooding from heavy rains destroyed homes and inundated farmland.

Video posted online showed people on top of an almost submerged bus in a rushing river flowing over a nearby bridge outside the city of Shijiazhuang, about 165 miles south-west of Beijing.

Authorities in Hebei province said in a social media post that 37 of the 51 people on the bus had been rescued.

State broadcaster CCTV said that three had died, and 11 are missing.

In neighbouring Shanxi province to the west, more than 120,000 people had been evacuated as thousands of houses collapsed and 190,000 hectares (470,000 acres) of crops were damaged, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

Operations have been suspended at 60 coal mines in Shanxi, a major coal producing area, because of the rains, the provincial government said late last week. The stoppage comes as the government is trying to address power shortages that have affected industry and even some homes.

Shanxi, normally a dry region, has also shuttered 166 tourist sites. The heavy rains damaged an 80ft section of a wall in the historic town of Pingyao, a Unesco World Heritage site, Xinhua said.

Continuous rain is the biggest threat to the city’s ancient clay structures, the agency added.

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