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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 1 March 2021

More bodies found in rubble of Norway landslide

Rescue workers say they will continue searching for six missing people

Rescue crews work with a drone in the landslide area at Ask. Reuters
Rescue crews work with a drone in the landslide area at Ask. Reuters

Rescue workers have recovered a fourth body and continued searching for another six people still missing after a landslide buried homes near Norway's capital, authorities said.

Three bodies were found on Saturday and one on Friday at the bleak, snow-covered scene village of Ask, 25km 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 said.

Police on Saturday also identified the body of the first person recovered as 31-year-old Eirik Grønolen.

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.

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 metres.

King Harald was due to visit the village of Ask on Sunday where an intense search and rescue operation has been underway since disaster struck in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The authorities have banned all aircraft from the disaster area until 3pm on Monday as they conduct aerial searches.

"We still think we can find survivors in the landslide zone," a rescue worker told TV2.

Search teams using sniffer dogs are also digging channels in the ground to evacuate anyone found alive.

"We have built so many evacuation routes in order to be able to take (survivors) out quickly that we can now work through the night," rescue team official Knut Halvorsen said.

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

Quick clay is found in Norway and Sweden, and can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.

Police said 10 people had been injured including one seriously who was transferred to Oslo for treatment.

One-fifth of the 5,000 strong population of the municipality of Gjerdum that includes Ask have been evacuated from the area as the ground was deemed unstable.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited the village on Wednesday and described the landslide as "one of the largest" the country had seen.

"It's a dramatic experience to be here," Ms Solberg told reporters.

Updated: January 3, 2021 02:38 AM

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