News24

German rockslide - rescue efforts end

2011-12-27 20:03

Berlin - Rescuers gave up on Tuesday in their search for a 10-year-old girl buried after chalk cliffs collapsed on her the day before on the German island of Ruegen.

"There will be no more searching," said Lothar Grossklaus, deputy district administrator said on Tuesday after consulting with rescue workers. "We have exhausted the technical possibilities."

There had been no sign of life from the girl in the 20 hours of searching after the Monday incident.

Rescue efforts were also hampered by inclement weather and difficulty bringing heavy equipment to the beach, said workers. Furthermore, there were also concerns that additional parts of the cliff might fall on the 160 workers involved in the operation.

The girl had been on a walk along the beach with her sister and mother on Monday afternoon when part of the island's trademark cliffs above them collapsed, pouring 3 000m³ of earth down from the cliffs 30m above.

The mother sustained severe injuries while the 14-year-old sister was only slightly injured. Both were hospitalised.

Rockslides and collapses of some parts of the cliffs on Germany's largest island are a frequent danger, made even more acute this year by heavy rains throughout the summer.