China: 7 people die in torrent swollen by rains

BEIJING (AP) — Seven people have died in a torrent of water that swept down a river at a popular entertainment spot after rains hit mountainous areas in southwestern China, authorities said Sunday.

Workers and volunteers mobilized to urge people to evacuate after receiving a warning of impending downpours at around 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, the emergency service in Pengzhou city said.

Videos shared on social media showed people running to flee, but some were swept away by the torrent some 50 minutes later, at 3:30 p.m.

A man at the scene said several people, including some children, had been swept away when the flow of water in the lower reaches of the river suddenly surged in just 10 to 20 seconds, according to state-run China National Radio.

The Chengdu city government reported seven dead and three hospitalized with minor injuries on Sunday. Pengzhou is a tourist destination about 70 kilometers (45 miles) north of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

One video showed a person stranded on a small promontory being rescued in a helicopter that lowered so far above the water that the person was able to climb to the gate.

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