The bodies of four people have now been found at the scene of Monday’s mudslide on Highway 99 near Lillooet, B.C., coroners confirmed on Saturday.
The first victim, a female whose name has not been released, was located on the day of the landslide, which sent trees and debris spread across the highway, blocking the last remaining road connecting the Lower Mainland to the rest of the province during this week. monstrous storm.
Three men have since been found dead.
The BC Coroners Service said search and rescue teams recovered one body on Wednesday and two more on Thursday.
In a statement, Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe offered “her deepest condolences to the families who are now mourning the sudden and unexpected death of their loved one.”
British Columbia RCMP have confirmed that the three men were all among those missing from the landslide. Their names were not disclosed, but Master Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said their next of kin have been notified.
Efforts to locate a fifth missing person continued until Friday, but were unsuccessful. Authorities confirmed on Saturday that the search had been suspended.
“All current research efforts have been exhausted and discussions are underway as to how and when to do this best,” Shoihet said in a press release.
The effort included members of the Pemberton and Lillooet search and rescue teams, as well as the use of a police dog. Lapointe praised the search teams for doing their best under “incredibly difficult conditions”.
“It has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us in British Columbia, and my thoughts are with the many families and communities who have suffered tragic losses,” she said.
Witnesses on the road when the mudslide hit said they heard a “thunder” sound as the trees crack and a torrent of mud rolled down the road, sweeping several vehicles.
They told CTV News that a firefighter on leave organized the survivors, who then went to work to help injured drivers and passengers escape wrecked cars.
Several days later, the RCMP said the area of Highway 99 remained closed to the general public and that there was no deadline for it to reopen.