Five pilgrims killed in landslide at Iraq Muslim shrine


Published: 2022-08-22 11:02

Last Updated: 2022-10-01 21:19

Five pilgrims killed in landslide at Iraq Muslim shrine
Five pilgrims killed in landslide at Iraq Muslim shrine

Rescue workers searched through the rubble of a Shiite Muslim shrine in central Iraq into Sunday night, after a landslide killed at least five people including a child.

After more than 24 hours of digging through collapsed rocks, wood and other debris, "we have found five bodies," civil defense General Abdelrahman Jawdat told AFP.

"That could be the final toll," he added, while digging continued in case there were other victims.

It is the latest tragedy to befall Iraq.

Civil defense spokesman Nawas Sabah Shaker said earlier that between six and eight pilgrims had been reported trapped under the debris of the shrine, known as Qattarat al-Imam Ali, near the city of Karbala.

Rescuers drove a bulldozer through the shrine's entrance, which resembles half a dome ornately decorated with blue tiles covered in Arabic script.

The sacred building, flanked by two minarets, sits at the base of high, bare rock walls. Part of its concrete roof had been torn apart.

Jawdat said rescuers had recovered the bodies of two women, a man and a child, and were working to free the corpse of the fifth victim, another woman whom they had located.

Armed security forces guarded the shrine entrance while rescuers worked inside and onlookers watched from behind a metal fence.

Three children were rescued earlier following the Saturday afternoon disaster, emergency services had said, adding that they were in "good condition" and being monitored in a hospital.

Rescue teams working through the night Saturday were able to provide supplies of oxygen, as well as food and water to some of those trapped through gaps in the rubble, state news agency INA said.