Chapter 241 – Sudden disaster!
Six days had passed.
This morning, dark clouds covered the skies, and it was raining heavily since midnight over the northwest region of the County, and the rainfall is the heaviest in ten years. Dong Xuebing’s injuries were almost recovered. Despite not fully recovered and the bad weather, Dong Xuebing still drove to the Bureau. Public Security is the busiest during such weather, and he was bored to tears at home. So, he decided to return to work earlier.
Pitter-patter… It’s the sound of raindrops falling on Dong Xuebing’s umbrella.
When Dong Xuebing was about to enter his office building, he met Gong Zhongwen.
“Chief Dong? You are back so soon? How are your injuries?”
“Haha… I’m fine.”
“Fine? But your arms are still covered in bandages. You call this fine?”
“I can move my arms now, and the bandages are for the abrasions.”
Both chatted as they walked into the building. Along the way, they met a few other leaders, and they are concerned about Dong Xuebing’s injuries. Dong Xuebing greeted them politely and went up to Bureau Chief’s office. He needs to inform Liang Chengpeng that he will be returning to work and get his third-tier merit award.
In the office, Liang Chengpeng is reading a document.
Dong Xuebing closed the door behind him and smiled. “Chief Liang, I am reporting back to work.”
Liang Chengpeng looks up and saw the bandages on Dong Xuebing’s arms. He frowned. “Go home and rest now! I will give you five more days to rest at home! You are not recovered yet, and why are you here? I know work is important, but before you are well, you are not allowed to return to work.”
Dong Xuebing smiled and moved his arms. “Chief Liang, look at me. I’m fine.”
Liang Chengpeng said. “Then remove the bandages and show me your arms!”
“Err…. To be honest, I’m bored at home. Is there any case in the Bureau that can be assigned to me?”
Liang Chengpeng laughed. “How can I assign work to you with your current condition?”
“You… don’t need to say anymore. If you insist on returning to work, go back to your office and do the coordination work for Hui Tian Village. When you are fully recovered, I will give you more work than you can handle! Your job now is to recover!” Liang Chengpeng also told Dong Xuebing that his award would be issued to him in a ceremony next Monday.
After returning to his office, Dong Xuebing drank his tea slowly and called Hui Tian Village Station. “Hello, Old Liu. I’m Dong Xuebing.”
Liu Dahai was surprised. “Chief Dong, you are at the Bureau now? Have you recovered?”
“I’m fine. Is everything alright at Hui Tian Village?”
“It’s fine, but the rain had been pouring. Two mountain roads have some problems because of the rain. Our men had set up warning signs at certain sections of the road where the condition is not too serious. The sections that are severely damaged are closed. It is still raining, and the rain is getting heavier. I don’t think the rain will stop anytime soon, and more problems will arise.”
Dong Xuebing frowned and asked. “Do we have sufficient manpower?”
“We can still manage now.”
“Ok. Do your best to coordinate our officers. I will drive over now.”
“Chief Dong, it is raining heavily now. You must be careful.”
Dong Xuebing had returned to work because of this heavy rain. He did not remain in his office and left. On his way out of the Bureau, he met a Deputy Office Director and informed him that he would be going to the village.
Dong Xuebing drove his Mercedes MPV in the heavy rain.
Dong Xuebing’s current condition allows him to drive without any problems. But he still can’t do strenuous sports.
Normally, the traffic in the County is smooth, but today, there are traffic jams everywhere. Dong Xuebing wasted half a day just to drive out of the County town. He chose to go to Hui Tian Village, not by the main road, to avoid heavy traffic. Instead, he drove through the mountain roads. But the road conditions are very bad, and once in a while, rocks fell onto the road from the mountains.
Dong Xuebing focused on driving and slowed down.
The rain had lowered visibility, and Dong Xuebing cannot see clearly.
Ring… ring… Dong Xuebing’s phone rang. He reached for his phone in his pocket and answered. “Hello, I’m driving. Who is this?”
“I am Liang Chengpeng. Are you going to the village?”
“Yes. I’m worried about the situation there and want to take a look.”
Liang Chengpeng sounds anxious. “There is a situation at Qingnan Road. If you are nearby, get over there immediately!”
Dong Xuebing was shocked. “What happened? The road collapsed?”
Bzzz… the phone signal is not good in the mountainous area. “… the mountains… I… over there now.” Duuu…. The line got cut off. Dong Xuebing tried to call back, but there was no signal. Dong Xuebing was worried. Qingnan Road? His location is just next to Qingnan Road. Did something happen there? What happened?
Just as Dong Xuebing was wondering what happened, there was a loud rumbling suddenly!
Mud, sand, rocks, etc. came crashing down onto the road in front of Dong Xuebing’s car suddenly!
Dong Xuebing got a fright and looked towards the mountain on his side. Mud and rocks are crashing down towards him from the mountains. Dong Xuebing immediately stepped on the brakes and swerved towards his left. Because he had swerved and stepped on the brakes too hard, his car skidded and turned 180 degrees!
Crash!! The mud and rocks fell onto the road and narrowly missed Dong Xuebing’s Mercedes!
Dong Xuebing broke out in cold sweat. He had almost died!
Dong Xuebing knows what the situation on Qingnan road was. It’s landslide! What happened earlier is considered mild. But further up the road, the mountain is steeper, and because of the mining activities in the mountains, the landslide might be serious. If cars or passersby got caught in the landslide, they would be dead!”
Dong Xuebing’s face changed when he thought about it!
What should I do now? It will be dangerous to continue moving forward! Should I make a detour, or should I go forward?
Dong Xuebing thought for a few seconds and decided to go forward. The more dire the situation is, the more he got to step forward. If he hides from danger, he might as well give up his position as the Deputy Public Security Bureau Chief. Dong Xuebing started his car to try to drive through the mud.
Finally, after some tries, Dong Xuebing managed to drive out of the mud. He drove by the rocks on the road and speed up.
Hurry up! Dong Xuebing prayed that there are no casualties from the landslides!
Because Dong Xuebing’s car was stuck in the mud, he wasted some time. When he reached the scene, Chief Liang had arrived. They had traveled through another road, and to Dong Xuebing’s surprise, he saw Mayor Xie Huilan and County’s Deputy Party Secretary Cao Xupeng there. Hu Silian was holding up an umbrella for Mayor Xie, and she was speaking to a few leaders. There are lots of people at the scene, and Liang Chengpeng was giving out instructions to his people. The fire department, police station, and local villagers are there.
Dong Xuebing’s heart sunk when he saw so many people and knew the situation must be serious.
Dong Xuebing saw what happened further up the road and was shocked!
A bus is lying on its side on the road beside a slope, and a gigantic rock is on the road not far from the bus. The rock seems to have rolled down from the mountain, and cries and screams from the injured passengers can be heard from the bus. The glasses on the bus are thick and had not shattered from the impact. The rescue party is helping the trapped passengers exit from the bus door.
“Xiao Dong!” Liang Chengpeng saw Dong Xuebing’s car and shouted.
This location is the border of Hui Tian Village, and Liu Dahai, Chen Fa, and the rest of the officers are there to help.
Dong Xuebing ran over without an umbrella. “Chief Liang, how can I help?”
Luan Xiaoping wiped the raindrops from his face and said. “You are still injured. Don’t be rash and wear a raincoat now. You will be in-charged of our officers’ rescue efforts. The rescue team is too slow. Hurry up! Break the windows and bring the passengers out. We must get everyone to safety within three minutes! We don’t know when there will be another massive landslide!”
Dong Xuebing acknowledged and ran over to organize his men.
Liang Chengpeng, Xie Huilan, and Cao Xuopeng were looking solemn.
Before they arrive, they had not expected the situation to be so serious. They were informed that a tour bus is trapped on Qingnan Road, with 30 to 40 passengers stuck inside. Recently, there are many minor landslides in the County, and the County Government leaders decided to go to the scene to lead the rescue efforts themselves. But when the moment they reached Qingnan Road, a massive boulder and mud, rolled down from the mountains and crashed into the tour bus!
Mayor Xie immediately orders the rescue operation to start, and the County’s Party Secretary Xiang Daofa is on his way over.
Dong Xuebing had arrived a few minutes after the accident, and it is a critical period now. He ignored his injuries and put on a raincoat before ordering the officers to get tools to break the windows. They must rescue the passengers as soon as possible. A few women and elderlies who were rescued were moved to a small bus among the rescue teams. Many of them were crying from the fright.
“Quick! Hurry up!”
“Here! Someone come over and help this person out!
“Don’t rush! Don’t rush! Climb out one after another!”
Xie Huilan finally notices Dong Xuebing, who was barking orders at the scene. Her eyes twitched and shouted to Hu Silian. “Get someone to drag Chief Dong back to the vehicle! Why is he here?” Cao Xupeng and the rest saw Chief Dong and the bandages on his arms.
Hu Silian ran over. “Chief Dong! Chief Dong!”
“Use rocks to smash the windows! Remember to watch out for the passengers inside!” Dong Xuebing shouted at his men and turned to Hu Silian. “Secretary Hu, what is it?”
Hu Silian quickly said. “Mayor Xie orders you to return to your car!”
Dong Xuebing replied. “I don’t have the time now. Help me thank Mayor Xie for her concern. My injuries are fine… Hey! Come out one by one! Don’t panic! Let the women, children, and elderlies out first!”
Hu Silian shouted anxiously. “Chief Dong!”
Dong Xuebing waved his hand. “Go back! It is dangerous here! I am fine!”
Hu Silian had no choice but to return to Mayor Xie.
Before Hu Silian can say anything, Xie Huilan waved her hand. “I understand.”
Cao Xupeng smacked his lips. “This Xiao Dong does not take care of himself!”
Xie Huilan narrowed her eyes. “Let him be! Let him do what he wants!” She seems to be mad.
Crash! A window was smashed near the front of the bus, and there’s one more exit for the trapped passengers. The passengers are climbing out from the bus door and windows one after another. Soon, around 30 passengers had escaped from the bus, and a few others are still climbing out. A few badly injured passengers were still on the bus and were shouting for help!
Liang Chengpeng shouted. “Go in and help them out!”
Dong Xuebing added. “Prepare the stretchers! Hurry!”
If not for his injuries, Dong Xuebing would have rushed in himself. Loose stones are rolling down from the mountains. Ta… ta… ta…. The small stones and rocks are falling on the bus, and two of the rescuers are hit by the stones. They had to be rescued by their colleagues and were stretched away with other injured passengers to a space near a forested area. There were many trees there, and the slope is not steep there.
Three more injured passengers were rescued from the bus.
Xie Huilan, Cao Xupeng, and the rest were relieved.
Dong Xuebing wiped the rain from his face and pant. Luckily, Xie Huilan, Liang Chengpeng, and the rest had arrived early. If the rescuers arrived slightly later, the trapped passengers would still be stuck inside. Only 3 or 4 passengers are still trapped, and after they are rescued, there are no more people on the bus.
But just when all passengers are about to get to safety in two minutes, something unexpected happened!
Thunderous rumbling sounds can be heard from the mountain!
To everyone’s horror, a large portion of the mountain starts to move, and the rumbling sounds got louder. Even Xie Huilan, Liang Chengpeng, and the others standing in the safe area could feel the ground shaking beneath them! It felt like an earthquake!
Xie Huilan’s face changed!
Cao Xupeng, Dong Xuebing, and the rest turns pale and felt their chest was hit by a hammer!
A large area of the mountain collapsed suddenly and is crashing down!
“The mountain is collapsing!”
“Come down! Hurry! Landslide!”
Thick mud, rocks, and stones are crashing down from the mountain, and within a split second, it reached the foot of the mountain!
The rescuers were stunned, and the ones further away from the bus, started running towards the direction of the leaders. One young man, who was rescuing the passengers, knew he does not have enough time to escape from the mud and debris. He immediately jumps through the window into the bus. Another rescuer behind him followed. They stand no chance against nature, and there’s still a glimpse of hope if they hide in the bus!
The mud is too thick!
The thickness is almost as tall as a grown man!
Half a second…
The mud and rocks from the massive landslide engulfed the bus!
Dong Xuebing was standing not far away and had pulled a stunned officer and ran towards the leaders. The affected area of the mountain is in the section near to the bus. The other areas are still safe temporary, and most of the people there are not hurt.
But after the landslide stopped, everyone looked towards the bus…
All they saw were yellowish-brown mud!
There were rocks, sand, mud, grass…
But the tour bus… is nowhere in sight!
In front of them, a few hundred meters of the road was covered by a thick layer of mud and rocks. They could not see the tour bus!
A young man from the rescue party could not escape in time and was caught in the mud. Part of his head was not buried in the mud, and he had a shocked expression on his face. He had died from the impact.
Liu Dahai and Chen Fa’s eyes were red. “Xiao Sun!”
The young man who died was an officer from Hui Tian Village station!
The rescued passengers were shouting their relatives’ names and running towards where the tour bus was last seen!
“Niuniu! Ah! Niuniu!”
“Da Lei! Hurry up! Save my son! My son is still on the bus!”
Cries, shouts, screams, and the sounds of rolling rocks were mixed!
Liang Chengpeng clenched his fist. They are still late.
The tour bus is now covered with a thick layer of mud, and mud and rocks are still flowing down from the mountain. It’s almost impossible for the people in the bus to survive!
They were too late!