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Three more bodies unearthed after flooding

Rescuers in the village of Gondo survey the damage caused by weekend's floods

(Keystone)

Rescue teams have pulled three more bodies from under the rubble of houses in the village of Gondo in canton Valais following the weekend's mudslides, brought on by heavy flooding. The deathtoll of the natural disaster has risen to at least six.

The coordinator of the rescue operation, Charly Wuillod, told a news conference on Tuesday that along with two intact corpses they had found body parts which they are treating as evidence of a third death.

Another nine people are still missing in the village but rescue teams say there is virtually no hope of finding anyone alive.

Rescue workers continued throughout Tuesday to reach a woman buried under rubble after they heard noises but are close to giving up their search.

A police spokesman in Sion, canton Valais, Markus Rieder, told swissinfo: "Work has continued all night and is continuing... There have been no new sounds of life. There is less chance of her surviving as each hour passes."

The Swiss army, meanwhile, has boosted its aid personnel to cantons Valais and Ticino by 1,200 soldiers and civilian rescue workers have been increased to 2,500. The increase in emergency staff is supposed to facilitate the evacuation of inhabitants from the flood-stricken areas.

Around 800 tourists staying in the mountain resort of Zermatt were airlifted by helicopters on Tuesday after road and rail links into the town were cut-off by the mudslides.

A spokesman for the Swiss Railways said the line between Brig and Domodossola would be open again on Wednesday. The stretch between Brig and Siders, however, would remain closed for at least another two weeks.

swissinfo with agencies


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