A frantic rescue effort underway at Iraq’s landslide shrine | News

The operation to rescue people trapped under the rubble continues as at least four were killed in Qattara Imam Ali shrine in Karbala governorate.

Iraqi rescue workers desperately search for survivors buried under the rubble after a landslide at a Shiite shrine, killing at least four people.

The official Iraqi News Agency, quoting the Civil Defense Agency, reported on Sunday that four bodies had been recovered from the rubble in the Qattara Imam Ali shrine in Karbala province, central Iraq.

“We found four bodies, including a woman,” said Abd al-Rahman Jawdat, a civil defense official.

Civil Defense spokesman Nawas Sabah Shaker said between six and eight pilgrims were trapped in the shrine.

Mahmoud Abdel Wahed, Al-Jazeera correspondent, from the capital, Baghdad, said that many worshipers gathered at the shrine during the month of Muharram.

“Heavy machinery was brought to the site, including bulldozers and excavators,” he said. “Family members are waiting for any news of their loved ones.”

Emergency services said three children were rescued following Saturday’s disaster, adding that they are in “good condition” and are being monitored in hospital.

mobilize all efforts

Rescue teams working through the night were able to provide oxygen supplies as well as food and water to some trapped people through gaps in the rubble, the international news agency reported.

Iraqi President Barham Salih called on the “heroic” rescue workers to “mobilize all efforts to rescue the trapped.”

Emergency medics earlier said they had been in verbal contact with the victims “to reassure them.”

The landslide hit the shrine on Saturday afternoon, which is located in a natural depression, 25 km west of the holy Shiite city of Karbala.

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The Civil Defense said that rocks and sand had begun to slide due to “saturation of the earthen berm adjacent to the shrine.”

This led to the collapse of about 30 percent of the building’s area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 100 square metres.

People wait as Iraqi rescue workers search for survivors after a deadly landslide [Mohammed Sawaf/AFP]

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