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Mass search for Gondo's last two victims

One of the 1300 volunteer searchers in the River Diveria


Volunteers looking for the two remaining victims of last year's Gondo tragedy have found body parts and clothing which may belong to the men. Around 1300 firemen and divers are searching along a 65-kilometre stretch of river between Switzerland and Italy.

The two remaining victims were Hermann and Gabriel Squaratti, brothers of Gondo's mayor Alfred Squaratti. The pair were serving as firemen when they were swept away after heavy rains caused a mudslide through the canton Valais border village on October 14.

A total of 13 people were killed. An extensive search of the River Diveria, which runs towards Italy's Lake Maggiore, led to the discovery of 11 bodies, but the operation was called off in November.

Alfred Squaratti, who is leading the current search, told correspondents the clothing found appeared to be part of a fireman's uniform. But he was cautious about confirming whether his brothers' bodies had been found.

The human remains have been sent to an Italian forensic laboratory for DNA testing.

Meanwhile the search teams plan to continue their work for several days.

swissinfo with agencies

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