83 buried in a Tibet mine area landslide: state media

Eighty-three workers were buried after a large-scale landslide hit a mining area in Tibet on Friday, China's state media reported.

The landslide took place at about 6:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday) in Maizhokunggar County in Tibet's capital Lhasa, and trapped workers from a subsidiary of China National Gold Group Corporation, a mining firm, said Xinhua.

No deaths have been announced, and a local official reached by AFP confirmed that the landslide had occurred, but could not state the number of casualties.

State-run broadcaster CCTV quoted a member of China's People's Armed Police on the scene as saying that "the situation looks serious, the collapsed area is three or four square kilometres".

Rescuers have so-far found no signs of the trapped, the policeman added.

The landslide affected an area three kilometres long, Xinhua said, citing a local government department. The agency added that more than 1,000 rescuers are working at the site, which is at an altitude of 4,600 metres.

The buried include two Tibetans, Xinhua said, without mentioning the ethnicities of the other workers. Many members of the Han Chinese ethnic group have moved to Tibet in recent decades to work in state-run mines.

Mountainous regions of Tibet are prone to landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy mining activity.