HELSINKI (AP) – Rescue teams searching for survivors four days after a landslide in a Norwegian village found no signs of life on Saturday amid dilapidated buildings and debris.
Three bodies have been exhumed but investigators are still searching for seven more people believed to be missing. The landslide in Ask village is the worst in modern Norwegian history and has shocked civilians in the Nordic nation.
Surgeons patrol with dogs, including helicopters and drones with heat-detecting cameras, in the village of Ask, a village of 25,000 kilometers (16 miles) northeast of Oslo, amid harsh winter conditions.
A rescue team from neighboring Sweden has already returned home, but Norwegian police have promised to reduce the search.
Local police chief Ida Melbo Assist said it was possible to find survivors from the air pockets inside the destroyed buildings.
“Medically, if you have air, you can survive for many days,” he told reporters at a news conference.
Late Saturday night, the second and third bodies were found Friday. Of the empty remains, only one Dalmia dog has survived.
King Harald V, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Hacken plan to visit the disaster area on Sunday to pay their respects to the victims and meet with residents and rescue workers. The 83-year-old king said in his New Year’s speech that the royal family was deeply saddened by the tragedy.
Norwegian Norwegian police have initially released the names and birth years of 10 people, including a 2-year-old child. Officials have not yet identified the three bodies found.
Early Wednesday landslides, leaving a ravine like Ask nada, crater, cut the road through Ask. In the photos and videos, buildings were hung along the ravine, which was 70,000 meters (4,300 feet) long and meters00 meters (1,000 feet) wide. At least nine buildings with more than 30 apartments collapsed.
At this time of year a limited number of days in Norway and rescue operations are disrupted and further erosion is expected. The ground is fragile on the spot and unable to hold the weight of rescue equipment, including a heavy vehicle of the Norwegian army.
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated, and officials say 1,100 people will be evacuated amid fears of more landslides.
The exact cause of the accident is not yet known but Gijerdrum Palika, where Ask is located, is known for having a very fast clay, a material that can change from solid to liquid form. Experts said the soil material is combined with excessive rainfall and humid weather for Norway at this time of year could contribute to landslides.
Norwegian Norwegian authorities warned people not to build residential houses in the area in 2005, but eventually houses were built there in a decade.
Torrell Hofsheg, a spokesman for the Norwegian Department of Water Resources and Energy, described the landslide as unique in its devastation.
“Norway has not had a rapid landslide of this magnitude since 1893,” Hofshejen told the media on Saturday.