The bodies of five of twenty-two soldiers who were buried after a landslide hit a military station in central Vietnam early on Sunday morning have been found as of the afternoon of the same day.
The People’s Committee of Quang Tri Province confirmed that the five bodies have been retrieved from the mud while the 17 other soldiers remain missing.
The victims are members of Economy-National Defense Delegation No. 337 under the 4th Military Region.
The mudslide occurred at around 1:00 am on the same day and struck the post of the delegation in Huong Phung Commune, Huong Hoa District.
Search and rescue units have faced immense difficulties as the road leading to the site of the accident is prone to landslides.
In order to reach the location, they have to take a 20-kilometer journey from Khe Sanh Town, Nguyen Van Tu, an official in Huong Hoa District, stated, adding that mudslides have occurred at six locations along the path.
Some locations have been cleared, but rocks and soil may wash downhill again, Tu said.
|Excavators clear a road for rescuers to reach the site of a landslide in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, October 18, 2020. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
A local resident said that the station of the Economy-National Defense Delegation No. 337 is situated about 150-200 meters from a hill.
The landslide must have occurred on a large scale as the facility was struck from such a distance, he stated.
Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing.
On Monday, a landslide took place at the Rao Trang 3 hydropower dam in central Thua Thien-Hue Province, with two workers confirmed dead and at least 15 others missing and feared dead.
|The headquarters of Economy-National Defense Delegation No. 337 in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor|
Another landslide later that night killed 13 soldiers and officials while they were on the way to search for the missing workers. Their bodies were recovered on Thursday.
Heavy rain and the risk of more landslides were making it difficult to bring badly needed equipment to the site of the hydropower dam to aid the search.
Intense rains since early October have caused floods and mudslides that have killed at least 61 people in central Vietnam, with more heavy rainfall expected until early next week, Reuters reported.
|The military station is pictured following a landslide in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, October 18, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor|