Update: July 16, 2012
BC Coroners Service/Unified Command 1600 hours media briefing summary
– Chief coroner confirms remains of female found approximately 1 pm
– located approximately 10 feet from foundation of home
– remains located 8-10 metres deep
– Chief coroner emphasized magnitude of slide several times
– Heavy equipment used in search; 24 search personnel on site
– RCMP continuing on security; emphasizing volatility of slide area and importance to stay away
The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed a second body has been found at the site of a landslide in southeastern B.C.
Officials say the body of a female was discovered at about 1 p.m. PT Monday about three metres from the Webber family home in Johnsons Landing, B.C.
The woman’s identity has not been confirmed, but it’s likely the body of Rachel Webber, 17, or Diana Webber, 22. The remains were found close to the home and close to the first body recovered, believed to be that of their father, Valentine Webber, 60.
Petra Frehse, 64, is also believed to have been trapped when the landslide hit Thursday. Frehse is a German retiree who would spend part of her year living in a home next door to the Webbers. At least three houses were engulfed when the wall of mud, rock and trees cascaded down a hillside Thursday morning.
Officials say debris pile around the Webber home is eight to 10 metres deep, and they are surprised at how quickly they have located the bodies of the missing.
LARGE LANDSLIDE AT JOHNSON’S LANDING ON NORTH ARM OF KOOTENAY LAKE
JULY 12, 2012 – 16:15 Hours
A large landslide has severely impacted three homes in the small community of Johnsons Landing on the east side of the North Arm of Kootenay Lake.
At this time, four residents are unaccounted for.
The slide initiated from Gar Creek shortly after 11:00 a.m. The cause is unknown at this time. Kaslo RCMP, Kaslo Search and Rescue, Nelson Search and Rescue and provincial and Regional District of Central Kootenay emergency responders are on site and a search is underway for residents who are unaccounted for.
A landslide expert, additional emergency responders and geotechnical staff are en route by helicopter to the remote community.
A state of local emergency has been declared for the Johnsons Landing area of Area D.
SEARCH OF SLIDE AREA SUSPENDED DUE TO DARKNESS
JULY 12, 2012 – 2130 Hours
The search for persons unaccounted for – based on best information believed to be four – after a large landslide at Johnsons Landing has been suspended for the evening. Darkness has compromised the safety of emergency responders, so personnel have secured the scene until the morning. Emergency personnel will meet early tomorrow to assess and plan prior to resuming the search.
The landslide happened shortly after 11:00 a.m. today. The cause is unknown at this time. Kaslo RCMP, Kaslo Search and Rescue, Nelson Search and Rescue, Kootenay Boundary RCMP and provincial and Regional District of Central Kootenay emergency responders are involved, as is the Vancouver-based HUSAR (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue) reconnaissance team.
A landslide expert and geo-technicians are also on site. A state of local emergency has been declared for the Johnsons Landing area of Area D.
Emergency Social Services is assisting residents, some of whom have been evacuated to Kaslo.
Johnsons Landing is a small, remote community on the northeast shore ofKootenayLakein the West Kootenay region of southeastBritish Columbia.