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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 10:21 GMT
Grim search after Indonesia mudslide
Rescue workers and residents work to dig out bodies buried under mud following a mudslide at a hot spring in Pacet village in East Java, Indonesia, 11 Dec 2002
Rescuers fear there is little hope of finding people alive
Rescue teams have been searching through tonnes of rocks and mud looking for survivors from a landslide that hit an Indonesian hot spring resort, killing at least 28 people.

Map
About 30 people may be trapped in debris and are feared dead, rescuers said on Thursday.

A river of mud and rocks swept into the Padusan Air Panas resort on Wednesday as dozens of people celebrated an extended holiday at the end of the Muslim fasting month.

According to AFP news agency, police said there had been illegal logging in a pine forest above the resort in the East Javan village of Pacet, 630 kilometres (390 miles) east of the capital, Jakarta.

At least eight of the people confirmed dead are children, rescuers said.

'Thundering sound'

One of the survivors being treated in hospital, Gatot Priyanto, 47, said there was a warning, with someone shouting, "water coming, water coming".

"At first we thought it was a joke. But then we heard a thundering sound," he said.

"Before we were able to run, rocks and muddy water crushed down on us."

Despite warnings from local officials and police, large crowds of spectators have been gathering to watch the search.

Police, troops, forest rangers and villagers have been using picks, shovels and crow bars to clear away the mud and rocks. Two police dogs were brought in to sniff for bodies and a mechanical digger was also brought in.

A fresh mudslide halted the search on Thursday afternoon, but there were no injuries.

Mudslides are common during Indonesia's rainy season, which runs between October and April.

See also:

11 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
09 Dec 02 | Country profiles
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