At least nine dead after massive snowstorm hits northeast China

With an average daily snowfall of 11.4mm, the region has seen its worst blizzard in 50 years

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 November, 2013, 6:31pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 November, 2013, 6:35pm

A collapsed factory roof killed nine workers yesterday in Heilongjiang, a northeast Chinese province that has been hit with its worst snowstorm in 50 years.

The incident occurred in Mudanjiang, a prefecture-level city located in the south of Heilongjiang.

The roof of the factory, a food processing facility located on Mudanjiang city’s Konka Street, collapsed due to heavy snowfall, Xinhua reports confirmed.

A nine hour rescue attempt that saw local authorities digging through factory rubble revealed the bodies of nine workers, who have yet to be identified.

Mudanjiang and the rest of Heilongjiang have been pummelled mercilessly by blizzards since Saturday.

The local government of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, has mobilised snow clearing machines and at least 50,000 people to clear the city’s streets, which have been covered 10 centimetres high in certain areas.

According to Harbin local officials, within the last week the city has seen an average daily snowfall of 11.4mm, the highest amount since 1961, the year the city began recording weather conditions.

Neighbouring province Jilin has seen even worse conditions, with snows reaching as high as 65 centimetres.

Schools and offices have closed throughout Heilongjiang and Jilin, and flights and trains throughout the region have also been delayed.