RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Firefighters in the Brazilian state of Parana worked tirelessly Wednesday to find about 30 people thought to have been engulfed in a landslide that hit a coastal highway.
Two people have been found dead and six were rescued alive since the landslide on Monday, state officials said in a statement. They warned that the number of victims could differ from their estimate, as it was impossible to say how many passengers were traveling in each of the 16 cars and trucks identified.
The landslide hit the BR-376 highway in the city of Guaratuba following intense and continuous rain in the region. A search and rescue team of 54 firefighters and specialists continued to work Wednesday in spite of bad weather, using tow trucks, search dogs and drones with thermal cameras to help detect any signs of life.
Another specialized tactical team took over search efforts at night.
“The teams are working around the clock," Col. Manoel Vasco of the Fire Brigade told reporters Wednesday. “The situation in the area, which is already at risk, is likely to get worse in the coming days if it continues like this.”
Vasco said rescuers had to tread carefully, as more landslides could happen, especially as rain is expected to increase in coming days. The highway lane also risks giving way due to the weight of the debris.