15.10.2020, 18:54

Bodies of 12 rescue team members retrieved from landslide rubble

Bodies of 12 rescue team members retrieved from landslide rubble

Search operations are on for the remaining one.

The nine bodies were found on Thursday afternoon at ranger station 67 in Phong Xuan Commune. Their identities have not been disclosed.

The 13 declared missing since midnight Tuesday were part of a 21-member rescue team that had set out to verify reports of workers buried by another landslide on a construction site near the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant located deep in the jungle, more than 10 kilometers away from ranger station 67.

At around midnight Monday, a collapsing hill had buried the plant’s operation center inside which several employees were sleeping. Heavy rains and flooding have hampered rescue teams in accessing the site. Of the 17 workers reported buried, one was found dead on Wednesday. The other 16 are still listed as missing.

Since last week, Thua Thien-Hue and other parts of the central region have been drenched by torrential rains, triggering floods and landslides.

Bodies of 12 rescue team members retrieved from landslide rubble

Xe cấp cuu

An ambulance carries bodies recovered from a landslide site in Thua Thien-Hue Province, October 152020. Video by Hoang Tao.

On Monday, the provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention, Control and Rescue received a phone call about the landslide near the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant. The informant had climbed a mountain to make the call. The phone number was reported out of service later.

The same night, a 21 member-rescue team had been dispatched to the scene to verify the incident. They stopped at the ranger station 67 to rest for the night. A rocky landslide hit the station’s rooms at midnight. Eight members of the team managed to escape. The remaining 13 including team leader, Major General Nguyen Van Man, deputy commander of the 4th Military Region of Vietnam People’s Army, were declared missing.

Rescue forces have stepped up efforts to look for the missing victims as heavy rains are forecast to hit Thua Thien-Hue Province Thursday night.