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Crews face risky conditions in search for B.C. slide victims

July 17, 2012, Johnsons Landing, B.C. – Safety of the recovery teams and a realistic chance of finding any other victims are the two key issues as the B.C. Coroner's Service takes command at the scene of a massive mudslide in southeastern B.C. 

July 17, 2012
By The Canadian Press

July 17, 2012, Johnsons Landing, B.C. – Safety of the recovery teams and
a realistic chance of finding any other victims are the two key issues
as the B.C. Coroner's Service takes command at the scene of a massive
mudslide in southeastern B.C.

Coroner's spokeswoman Barb McLintock says an assessment is underway and
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe is in the Kootenay hamlet of Johnsons
Landing where the slide tore through on July 12, engulfing three homes.

McLintock says although weekend rain and unstable ground has complicated
recovery efforts, crews are optimistic they will find 64-year-old
German visitor Petra Frehse and sisters Rachel Webber and Diana Webber.

A body, believed to be that of 60-year-old Valentine Webber, was
uncovered near the foundation of one of the devastated homes Sunday
afternoon, giving crews a better idea of where to look for his 17 and
22-year-old daughters.

Meanwhile, damage assessment is underway in the southeastern B.C. resort
community of Fairmont Hot Springs, northeast of Cranbrook, after a new
slide Sunday afternoon sent boulders, trees and mud spilling through the
centre of town.

No one was hurt, but about 100 people have been displaced while four
properties are damaged, a hillside hotel was evacuated and campers at a
nearby RV park remain stranded after a bridge washed out.