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Complete devastation: Rescue team leader describes BC landslide

Staff writers
July 17, 2012 — A rescue team leader says he's never seen anything like the destruction caused by the deadly BC landslide.

Massive destruction from landslide
Massive destruction from landslide

The search continues for two victims that were trapped in a massive landslide in southeastern BC last Thursday.

Four people were missing after the slide including 60-year-old Valentine Webber, his two daughters Diana and Rachel and a German tourist, Petra Frehse.

Searchers found a body, which was believed to be Valentine Webber on Sunday and the remains of a second person were found on Monday.

A team that had been searching for survivors at the landslide in Johnsons Landing returned to Vancouver Monday. The rescue team leader says the destruction from the landslide is not like anything he's ever seen before.

"This thing was unbelievable, it was complete devastation, it was probably half a kilometre wide and miles long," says Sergeant Craig Cairns. "The mud and the rocks were absolutely huge. The trees had been ripped out and they had been ripped through the mud...You're hoping that someone could possibly still be alive, but you really know that it's probably not likely because of the devastation there is...There's nothing left."

A hard reality for the victims families.

Diana and Rachel were planning to travel to an historic island near Ireland this fall, an adventure which was to serve as inspiration for a documentary they planned to make together. Instead, their relatives are left mourning the lost futures.

With files from The Canadian Press

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