Falling rock ends search for landslide victims
Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 6:45 pm
By: News 9
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Rescuers ended their search Tuesday for victims of a massive landslide that tore down a mountain and buried a northern Guatemalan highway, killing at least 35 people.
At least 50 are still missing, many of them laborers at nearby coffee plantations who skirted roadblocks erected after another deadly slide hit the same road two weeks ago. That avalanche killed two people.
Raining rock from the weakened mountain made it too dangerous to continue digging for people buried under thousands of tons of boulders and dirt, said Sergio Cabanas, the head of the government's emergency response crew.
Local mayor Leopoldo Ical said at least 100 people were in the area when the landslide buried more than a kilometer (nearly a mile) of highway Sunday.
More than 800 people from the tiny Mayan mountain villages of Aquil Grande and Aquil Pequeno were evacuated Monday to a nearby village in case more landslides occur.
Ten unidentified bodies were buried at the local cemetery after no one claimed them.