Explosion triggers massive landslide in Medellin, Colombia

Explosion triggers massive landslide in Medellin, Colombia

A massive landslide buried a stretch of the Medellin-Bogota highway on October 26, 2016, claiming lives of at least 6 people, authorities reported. At least 12 are still missing.

"The landslide was apparently caused by an explosion in a quarry in the municipality of Copacabana," the head of disaster prevention and recovery operation, Mauricio Parodi, said. The explosion injured 4 people, and possibly trapped as many as 10. The missing people could be inside a container in the quarry, he said.

Parodi estimated that some 50 000 m3 (1.76 million ft3) of land cascaded down onto the road.

German Velez Villegas, an official with Devimed, which administers the Medellin-Bogota highway, told reporters that "at least 12 people" are trapped or buried, including six quarry workers and six motorists, adding that it would be "difficult" to find survivors under the debris and earth.

The highway is expected to be closed for at least several days.

The landslide happened several kilometers outside the city of Medellin, on a road that leads to the capital Bogota.

Officials sad heavy rains contributed to the disaster.

Featured image: Landslide on Medellin-Bogota highway, Colombia on October 26, 2016. Credit: DEVIMED

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