One dead, nine still missing in Norway landslide

Oslo (AFP) –

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Rescuers on Friday found a dead body and continued searching for nine other people still missing days after a mudslide destroyed homes in a Norwegian village, the authorities said.

An entire hillside collapsed in Ask, 25 kilometres (15 miles) northeast of the capital Oslo overnight Tuesday, burying homes or breaking them apart.

"A dead body was discovered in the landslide," police said without identifying the person.

The police statement said the discovery was made around 2:30 pm Friday as Norwegian crews supported by colleagues from Sweden continued search operations in the snow-covered terrain.

Norwegian media reported that a medical helicopter and ambulances were at the scene.

"We still think we can find survivors in the landslide zone," a rescue worker told TV2.

"The fact that a discovery was made suggests to us that we are in an area where there may be people," the official said.

Homes were buried under mud, others cut in two and some houses left teetering over a crater caused by the mudslide, with several falling over the edge.

Around 1,000 people were evacuated from the area on Wednesday as the ground was deemed unstable.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) said the disaster was a "quick clay slide" of approximately 300 by 800 metres (yards).

Quick clay is a sort of clay found in Norway and Sweden that can collapse and turn to fluid when overstressed.

Police said 10 people had been injured including one seriously who was transferred to Oslo for treatment.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited the village on Wednesday and described the landslide as "one of the largest" the country had seen.

"It's a dramatic experience to be here," Solberg told reporters.