At least 27 firefighters have died after they were sent to tackle a forest blaze in remote mountains in southwest China’s Sichuan province at the weekend.
The deaths occurred after a change of wind on Sunday as the firefighters were battling the blaze in a rugged area at an altitude of 3,800 metres.
The ministry said three local residents recruited to help fight the blaze also died.
Nearly 700 people were battling the fire in Sichuan’s Muli county that erupted on Saturday, but contact was lost on Sunday with the 30. Two helicopters carrying medical staff and military personnel were dispatched to help in the search.