The bodies of two pilgrims were pulled from an Iraqi shrine Monday, two days after its partial collapse in a landslide, taking the overall toll to seven dead, rescuers said.
Emergency workers were trying to remove the rubble and debris from the shrine known as Qattarat al-Imam Ali near the holy city of Karbala in Iraq. “Unfortunately, we found this morning two bodies, a man and a woman”, under the rubble, Jawdat Abdelrahman, director of the civil defence media department, told AFP.
So far, the bodies retrieved from the site were a child, four women and two men, while three children had been rescued and rushed to hospital.
“We are continuing the search for other victims,” Abdelrahman said, adding eyewitnesses had reported that there was another body, of a woman, still under the rubble. Civil defence spokesman Nawas Sabah Shaker had said on Sunday that between six and eight pilgrims had been reported trapped under the debris of the shrine, near the Shiite holy city of Karbala. The three children rescued earlier were in “good condition” and being monitored in a hospital, emergency services had said on Sunday.
Search and rescue operations have been carried out since the shrine, which sits at the base of high, bare rock walls, became partially buried when earthen embankments collapsed on Saturday due to saturation from humidity, according to the civil defence.—AFP