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Eight missing after landslide in Switzerland

August 24, 2017

Emergency services are searching for people from Germany, Austria and Switzerland near the Italian border. Several small villages were struck by a massive landslide on Wednesday.

Schweiz Bergsturz im Kanton Graubünden
Image: picture-alliance/KEYSTONE/G. Ehrenzeller

Eight people remain missing after a landslide in Switzerland, police announced on Thursday.

Villages on the Italian border were struck by a landslide that destroyed several buildings on Wednesday.

Footage of the event was shared by Swiss journalists on social media.

"In the region of Val Bondasca, eight people who were there at the time of the landslide have not been found," the Graubunden cantonal police announced in a statement released Thursday.

The missing people came from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, police said.

Read more: Legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck dies on Mount Everest

Landslide in the canton of Graubünden
The villages were equipped with an automatic warning system after a landslide in 2012Image: picture-alliance/dpa/KEYSTONE/G. Cattaneo

Cantonal police were searching the area with the help of an army helicopter.

Initial estimates found that up to 4 million cubic meters (140 million cubic feet) of rubble had been dislodged. Villages were equipped with an automatic alarm system after a massive rock fall in 2012.

Residents of the village of Bondo were still unable to return home on Thursday.

Missing group found in Italy

A group of six people also feared missing in the landslide was found safe on Thursday across the border in Italy, police spokeswoman for Graubunden Chiarella Piana said. 

Police had initially indicated that they were unsure whether or not the group had left the affected region.

aw, dm/mkg (dpa, AFP)