WORLD / EUROPE
4th body found in Norway landslide, 6 still missing
Published: Jan 03, 2021 05:23 PM
Rescue workers on Saturday recovered a fourth body and continued searching for another six people still missing days after a landslide buried homes near Norway's capital, authorities said.

An intense search and rescue operation has been underway since disaster struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the village of Ask, 25 kilometers northeast of Oslo.

"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.

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

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 2-year-old and a 13-year-old child.

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

As a whole hillside collapsed, 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 meters.

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

About 1,000 people have had to be evacuated from Gjerdrum, which has a population of 5,000, because of fears for the safety of their homes. There was more movement of land overnight Friday to Saturday.

Search and rescue teams have been using sniffer dogs, helicopters and drones in a bid to find survivors.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate said the disaster was a "quick clay slide" of approximately 300 by 800 meters.

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 3 pm Monday as they conduct aerial searches.


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