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Search for mudslide victims continues in devastated Gondo

Rescuers are still searching for victims in Gondo

(Keystone)

Explosives experts are shortly to begin blasting through rubble in the village of Gondo to try and find the remaining victims of Saturday's devastating floods. Three bodies were found late on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to nine.

So far 11 bodies have been found across canton Valais, since floods swept through the area at the weekend. Four people, all from Gondo, are still missing, presumed dead.

Mining experts in Gondo are laying explosive charges in the rubble to shift heavy rocks and chunks of debris so search teams can probe underneath the remains of a dam wall.

The remaining 130 residents of Gondo, who are staying in nearby Simplon Dorf and Domodossola in Italy, are being permitted to return home briefly to collect some of their belongings.

They will not be able to return again to the village until it has been made safe, and a decision has been taken as to its future. In the next few weeks, engineers will make a decision about the viability of Gondo as a place to live.

Life is slowly returning to normal in worst hit areas of canton Valais, but rail links remain closed in many areas. On Wednesday the Swiss Federal Railways said it was again forced to close the Simplon stretch of its network because of fears of further mudslides.

swissinfo with agencies

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