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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 August, 2004, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
Family flee as mud engulfs car
Vehicles stuck in landslide
Vehicles are stuck in the landslide
A family of five have described how they escaped from their car before it was engulfed in a mudslide.

Doctor Sandy Hills, 54, said they had to crawl out of the windows near Dunkeld, Perthshire.

The A9 was completely blocked by the landslide, as torrential rain continued to deluge central Scotland for a third consecutive day.

Dr Hills, his wife Catherine, 54, and their children Steven, 27, Natalie, 24, and David, 18, scrambled to safety.

The Hills got into difficulty as they travelled from their home in Dundee for a short holiday in Grantown-on-Spey.

As we were collecting our stuff we saw trees breaking away from the hillside and smashing down into the caravan and a van at the other side
Sandy Hills
Their Volkswagen Passat and at least six other vehicles were stuck when the embankment collapsed and soon covered much of the dual carriageway.

Dr Hills said: "We just decided that we had to get out. All of us had to crawl out of the windows.

"We tried to get as much as we could out of the car, but I've even left my mobile phone behind.

"As we were collecting our stuff we saw trees breaking away from the hillside and smashing down into the caravan and a van at the other side."

Vehicles trapped

The family would have been fine had they passed the area 10 seconds earlier, he added.

The heavy rain has led to several flood warnings as forecasters predict the wet weather will continue.

People in about 40 households in nearby Bankfoot were taken to an emergency centre after the River Tay burst its banks.

Police superintendent Ian Bell said the A9 was closed and motorists could not be diverted because of flooding on minor roads.

"About half a dozen vehicles are trapped by the mudslide and there are hundreds of vehicles heading south which we are trying to turn back," he said.

"The mud is about eight feet at its deepest point."

The BBC's John Morrison
"After days of torrential rain, a mudslide"

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