Rescuers search for missing children beside the Qingjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, in Enshi City, central China's Hubei Province, June 1, 2004. Information from the rescue team said that by Monday morning, they had altogether retrieved 11 dead bodies of the 18 people who were swept away in an unexpected flooding that happened at Dalongtan Reservoir on the upper reaches of the Qingjiang River last Thursday, including 12 kindergarten kids. (Xinhua Photo)
Rescuers search for missing children on the Qingjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, in Enshi City, central China's Hubei Province, June 1, 2004.(Xinhua Photo)
More than 10,000 people combed river banks and searched on waters for seven still missing children on Tuesday in central China's Hubei Province, almost five days after flood waters swept away 18 people, including 12 children.
Twelve rescuing squads dispatched by local People's Liberation Army, headed by commander Zhou Lirun, also participated in the search for the seven kindergarten pupils lost in torrential floods.
Local villagers at Fengxiangping Village, which most missing children are from, still expected miracle for those missing children to survive.
"My son narrowly missed the accident," said Liu Kehua, a local farmer at Fengxiangping Village of Enshi City, with her 2-year-oldson Shu Tianhua in her arms. "All people inside the minibus were swept away by floods only one minute after I took my son out of the vehicle."
The cofferdam of the Dalongtan Reservoir in Enshi City was damaged by a sudden flooding water at 5:49 p.m. Thursday, sweepingaway 18 people, including four construction workers and the minibus carrying 12 children, a teacher and a driver.
All the 12 children and the teacher from the city's Wangwang Kindergarten were engulfed as they headed home.
To date, 11 bodies had been found as local insurance companies extended a total compensations of 66,000 yuan (about 8,000 US dollars) to relatives of those dead or missing.
The reservoir was still under construction when rainstorms lastweek in the upper reaches of the Qingjiang River, one tributary ofthe mighty Yangtze River, brought torrents into the reservoir, breaking the cofferdam Thursday night.