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VALSØYFJORD / OSLO (VG) A person lost his life after a house in Valsøyfjord, in the municipality of Heim, was swept away by a landslide on Friday evening.
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The landslide was about 200 meters long and 20 meters wide.
- The rescue efforts in collaboration with the firefighters and other actors were challenging. The house is partially destroyed and there is earth and clay inside the house, the operations center reported late Friday evening.
Large relief resources were dispatched to the scene when police were informed on Friday at 7:14 pm that the landslide had swept away parts of a house.
There were people both nearby and inside the house, and for several hours the emergency services worked to locate and release the remaining people.
Late in the evening on Friday, police confirmed that one person had died and that the other five had been cared for by medical personnel.
Operations leader Håkon Flor told the VG photographer on the scene just after midnight that the E39 will be closed overnight.
- Rescue teams are now cleaning up together, so we'll wait for daylight.
He says new assessments by geologists, forensic investigations and interrogations will be carried out on Saturday to try to find the cause of the landslide.
The new E39 and the Road Administration are under construction in the area where the landslide occurred confirms that on Friday the excavation was carried out 30-50 meters above the occupied house.
Project manager Odd Helge Innerdal of the Norwegian Public Road Administration says their geotechnics are still on site on Saturday morning and that management will meet shortly after 9am.
Two people were locked up in the collapsed house for a long time, and rescue manager Andreas Ingsøy from the Main Rescue Center in southern Norway spoke of difficult working conditions.
- We located them. There is no direct contact with them, he said Friday night.
- The way they located them is that they heard sounds, besides that it is difficult to have direct contact with them. There is no conversation going on, but they have felt signs of life.
At 22.20 the two were taken out of the house.
It was reported that one person was trapped and the police informed VG that the person was not at home, but was out.
Crisis staff set up
The municipality of Heim is located in the southwest of Trøndelag, bordering Møre and Romsdal.
Heim Municipality Mayor Odd Jarle Svanem confirmed to VG that the municipality has set up a crisis team.
- For us as a municipality it is a crisis. We also called the psychosocial crisis team.
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- And dig the ras
VG spoke to a man who was at the crash site. He happened to pass the scene of the accident on Friday night as he was driving home to Kristiansund.
The man told VG that half of the house was occupied by the landslide.
- The rest is gone. It looks like a garage was also taken by the landslide, she said.
The man has estimated that the landslide is about 300 meters long and 50-100 meters wide.
- Seems to be a landslide. The landslide almost completely ended in the sea. Several trees are also broken.
The man said there were several helicopters on site.
A neighbor told VG that firefighters borrowed equipment from him in connection with the rescue work.
- I see there is a severe landslide from the new section of the E39 which has brought a residential building with it on its descent to the old E39, the neighbor told VG.
- The fire works like nothing else to get them out, all thanks to them, because the landslide is still in motion. Really good work. They were here to borrow a chainsaw and gasoline to continue their work.
The Norwegian Administration of Oncoming Public Roads
In the area where the landslide occurred, construction of a new E39 is underway. Betna-Stormyra it is a combined development of three sections which will provide 26km of new road.
The director of the development division of the Norwegian public roads administration, Kjell Inge Davik, told VG earlier that he did not know how close the road structure is to the crash site.
- We have our people on the way now, he said.
Davik does not speculate that there may be a link between the construction of the road and the landslide.
- I have no comments on this, it is too early to speculate, the most important thing now is to save people. This is the first priority, Davik said.