The grim but ongoing search for three people still missing after a fatal mudslide in Gjerdrum just before New Year resulted in discovery of two more victims late Tuesday afternoon. They’d been buried under two meters of the clay-like earth that gave way in the middle of the night on December 30.
The search was described as “very demanding” by local police operations leader Mari Stoltenberg. She told Norwegian media that specially trained police dogs had marked an area where search crews kept digging.
“The first person was found shortly after 3pm,” police reported. “A few hours later another person was found in the same area.” The identities of those found were not immediately released.
It’s been important for the entire community to find all 10 victims of the slide that forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents of the rural town of Ask in Gjerdrum. Many have since returned to their homes, while others will never be able to after the tragedy that shook the entire nation and brought condolences from top government officials and the royal family.
“I stand here now with mixed feelings, but want to express gratitude and relief over this (search) work that’s yielding results,” Gjerdrum Mayor Anders Østensen stated Wednesday evening. “It’s important for the victims’ families and for the rest of us that two more people have now been accounted for.” The search was set to resume until the last person is found.