PESHAWAR: Rescuers today ended their week-long efforts to recover the 23 people buried by a landslide in northwest Pakistan where heavy rains have killed 117 people during the week.
The people who were buried in their homes on Sunday by the landslide in Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were pronounced as dead, bringing the rescue operation to an end, officials said.
The rescue teams, which also comprised volunteers and police officials, could only find five injured persons and two bodies during their search operation following heavy rains on last weekend in which 117 people were killed.
The collective funeral prayer for the 23 deceased, including 13 women and five children, was held at the site of the rescue operation.
The decision to declare the victims dead was made by elders, clerics and officials of the local administration after their meeting with Deputy Commissioner Fazle Khaliq.
Apprising the relatives of the victims about winding up the operation, Khaliq said that it was not in their reach to retrieve the bodies from the huge debris.
The rescue experts with heavy machinery also could not reach the site due road closures and remoteness of the area.
Khaliq said the relatives of the victims were against blasting the rubble for the recovery of the bodies.
Around 30 people were trapped after a heavy landslide struck on five houses at village Kandia in Kohistan on April 3 last due to heavy torrential rains in Kohistan.