Seven tourists were killed and 26 others injured when a huge boulder fell from a mountain in a scenic area of China's southern Guangxi Zhuang region, local media reported.
The rock fell at Diecai Mountain in Guilin on Thursday morning, hitting a group of mostly Chinese visitors that was disembarking from a sightseeing boat, according to CCTV television and the China Daily. Four people were confirmed dead at the scene, and three others died later in hospital, the reports said.
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The largest fragment was almost 10 feet wide, China Daily reported, quoting a witness describing the scene as “appalling.”
The dead and injured were mainly Chinese, China Daily said. Eight of the injured were from Taiwan.
"Everyone was panicking at the time. The tour guides and others were all crying. I didn't know what had happened until someone told me there had been an accident," a local resident, Ms. Jiang, told CCTV.
Zhou Zhengxi, a security guard at a nearby hotel, told China Daily that falling rocks were not uncommon at this time of year as they were loosened by spring rain. "In the past, the government would remove loose rocks on the mountain to ensure safety," Zhou told the newspaper. “It's just the beginning of spring, so they haven't started to do the work."
- Alastair Jamieson