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Fourth body found after Norway landslide

Rescue teams are still searching for survivors four days after a landslide carried away homes in a Norwegian village.

Rescue workers search the area following a landslide that hit Ask during Christmas [AFP]
Rescue workers search the area following a landslide that hit Ask during Christmas [AFP]

Rescue workers have recovered a fourth body and are continuing to search for another six people still missing four days after a landslide buried homes in a Norwegian village.

“We have made a new discovery of a dead person. It’s in the same area as the third body,” police official Knut Hammer told a news conference on a day that three bodies were found at the bleak, snow-covered scene at Ask, in Gjerdrum municipality.

A whole hillside collapsed in the village of Ask, 25km (15 miles) northeast of the capital Oslo, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, injuring 10 people, one of them seriously.

Homes were buried under mud, others cut in two and some houses left teetering over a crater caused by the mudslide, with several subsequently falling over the edge.

The landslide destroyed several houses and shifted others hundreds of metres.

Earlier on Saturday, local police chief Ida Melbo Oystese said authorities hoped some people might have survived thanks to pockets of air inside partially intact buildings.

Police on Saturday identified the body of the first person, which they found on Friday, saying he was 31-year-old Eirik Gronolen.

The police have not yet identified the three other dead. On Friday they released a list of the names of 10 people unaccounted for: eight adults, a two-year-old and a 13-year-old child.

Police have also said 10 people were injured, including one seriously who was transferred to Oslo for treatment shortly after the disaster.

Spokeswoman Toril Hofshagen from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) called the landslide unique in its destruction.

“Not since 1893 has there been a quick clay landslide of this dimension in Norway,” Hofshagen told Norwegian media.

View of the damage following a deadly landslide in Ask [Reuters]
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated, and officials said up to 1,500 people may be moved from the area amid fears of further landslides.

“We are at a hotel,” two of the evacuees, Olav Gjerdingen and Sissel Meyer Gjerdingen, told AFP news agency. “It is a completely surreal and terrible situation.”

The NVE said the disaster was a “quick clay slide” of approximately 300 by 800 metres.

Quick clay is a sort of clay found in Norway and Sweden that can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.

The authorities have banned all aircraft from the disaster area until 3pm (14:00 GMT) on Monday as they conduct aerial searches.

Norwegian rescue workers are being helped by their counterparts from Sweden.

Visiting the site last week, Prime Minister Erna Solberg described it as one of the biggest landslides the country had ever experienced.

Source : News Agencies


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