HCMC – Rescuers had found the bodies of 14 people who were among 22 military officers and soldiers being buried in landslides in the central province of Quang Tri by 4:30 p.m. today, October 18, reported Tuoi Tre news site, citing a deputy defense minister.
More than 400 troops have been mobilized for a massive search and rescue operation. They are working round the clock to look for the missing soldiers. Two helicopters from Danang City will also join the operation when the weather improves.
Earlier, mountain landslides had buried at least 22 troops of Army Economic Group 337, a unit of Military Region 4, in Huong Phung Commune, Huong Hoa District, said Ha Si Dong, vice chairman of the province, this morning.
In a related development, seven people in a rescue team had accidents in the district’s Huong Viet Commune, with one of them confirmed dead.
On Saturday night, October 17, after being informed of the death of seven locals, the rescue team including policemen, border guards and local officials was established to conduct a search and rescue operation.
Torrential rains and floods left one local police dead, four others of the team missing, and two heavily injured. The injured included the chairman and the deputy Party secretary of the commune. Meanwhile, no bodies of the seven deceased residents have been found.
The search and rescue efforts have faced enormous difficulties due to massive landslides.
Authorities of the district this afternoon had gained access to a house damaged by landslides in Huc Commune and discovered all the six members of the family dead, including an expectant mother. At 5 p.m. on October 17, a hill landslide buried this house. Huc Commune has been isolated for a past few days due to heavy rain and flooding.
The latest death and missing of troops in central Vietnam is another huge loss of the country. Just last week 13 people of a 21-member search and rescue team which was sent to the Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant construction site to look for a group of workers trapped in landslides were killed by landslides in Phong Xuan Commune, Phong Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue Province.