Russian rescuers return from China

Russian specialists are returning home after helping a search and rescue operation in China, where a powerful earthquake killed more than 40,000 people.

A plane carrying 31 Russians left China on Tuesday night and a second aircraft is set to leave shortly.

Russian specialists say they are returning home because the search and rescue operation in China is winding down. They were the only foreign rescuers who managed to find survivors and pull them out of the rubble.

Russian medics will remain in China for longer.

A powerful earthquake struck China's Southwest on May 12.

Officials say the final death toll is expected to exceed 50,000.