Norway landslide: Authorities find a body in search for last victim of avalanche

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By Euronews
This aerial view shows the landslide area near the village of Ask in Gjerdrum municipality.
This aerial view shows the landslide area near the village of Ask in Gjerdrum municipality.   -   Copyright  GORM KALLESTAD / NTB / AFP

Authorities in Norway have recovered the body of the last victim from December's deadly landslide, nearly three months after the disaster.

A total of 10 people were killed when the landslide swept residential homes in the village of Ask on December 30.

Seven of the victims, including a two-year-old girl, were soon found by search and rescue teams, while two more bodies were recovered on February 9.

On Monday, Norwegian police confirmed that they had found a body in the search for the last person listed as missing in the rubble.

"At 07.30 on Monday morning, a dead body was found in the avalanche pit in Gjerdrum," the police said in a statement.

"The discovery was made in the lower part of the landslide ... by an excavator driver. The relatives of the last missing person have been informed."

Police spokeswoman Mari Stoltenberg said the remains had not been formally identified, and the authorities were working to free the body from the debris of the avalanche.

More than 1,000 people were evacuated from the area after one of the worst landslides in Norway's modern history.

The avalanche destroyed at least nine buildings and more than 30 apartments in the village, around 25 kilometres northeast of Oslo.

Rescue operations at the site were called off on January 5, as hope of finding any survivors faded.

The exact cause of the slip is not yet known, but heavy rainfall in the area may have disturbed quick clay, which rapidly changes from solid to liquid form.

In 2005, Norwegian authorities had warned against building residential homes in the Ask area, saying it was "a high-risk zone'' for landslides.

Additional sources • AP