Dozens of people have gone missing in China, after a landslide buried the living quarters of a mining company under one million cubic metres of earth, according to local authorities.

The deluge shortly after midnight swallowed 15 employee dormitories and three residential houses in Shangluo, in the northern province of Shaanxi, the city government said in a statement on Wednesday.

Around 40 people were missing, it said, adding that police, firefighters, mining rescuers and medical staff had been sent to the site and residents in the area evacuated.


OPINION: China's great crash - Signs of trouble?


The mine's operator was identified by the official Xinhua news agency as Wuzhou mining company, which according to its parent company is mainly a vanadium producer.

Separately, a coal and gas burst on Tuesday night in a mine in the southwestern province of Guizhou killed 10 people and left one more missing, provincial work safety authorities said in a statement.

Rescue efforts were under way, the statement on Wednesday said.

China - the world's largest producer of coal - is grappling to improve standards in the sector, where regulations are often flouted and corruption enables bosses to pursue profits at the cost of worker safety.

Accidents in Chinese coal mines killed 931 people last year, a top work safety official said in March.

Source: Agencies