Skip to Photo Next
1/1 and 1/1
1/1 and 1/1
Norwegian officials insisted there was “still hope” of finding survivors in air pockets, five days after a landslide killed at least seven people when it swept away homes in a village north of the capital.
We’re also missing three people.
Police spokesman Roger Pettersen said search operations in the landslide-hit village of Ask, 16 miles northeast of Oslo, are still considered a “rescue operation.”
In recent days, however, only bodies have been identified.
“are working against us, but we have told the (rescuers) very clearly that it is possible to survive as long as there are cavities where the missing might have been,” said Dr. Halvard Stave, who participated in the rescue operation.
Search teams patrolled with dogs as helicopters and drones flew over the ravaged hillside in Ask, a village of 5,000 people affected by the worst landslide in modern Norwegian history, in harsh winter conditions with heat-detecting cameras.
They evacuated at least 1,000 people.
By early Wednesday, the landslide had cut a road through Ask, leaving a deep, crater-like gorge.
Photos and videos showed buildings hanging on the edge of the gorge, which grew up to 2,300 feet long and 1,000 feet wide.
At least nine buildings containing more than 30 homes were destroyed.
The limited number of daylight hours in Norway at this time of year and fears of further erosion have complicated rescue efforts.
The ground at the accident site is friable and unable to support the weight of rescue equipment.
The exact cause of the accident is not yet known, but the municipality of Gjerdrum, where Ask is located, is known to have a lot of fast clay, a material that can change from solid to liquid form. Experts said the nature of the clay, combined with excessive rainfall and the wet weather typical of Norway at this time of year, may have contributed to the landslide.
“This is absolutely terrible,” King Harald V said after the Norwegian royals visited the landslide site on Sunday.