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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 21:25 GMT 22:25 UK
Motorists rescued from landslide
Rescue helicopters raced to the scene
Rescue helicopters have airlifted 57 people who were trapped by a landslide at Lochearnhead in Central Scotland.

The motorists were rescued from the blocked road on the A85 near Stirling.

Emergency services were concerned the flash flooding could have made surrounding hillsides unstable and led to further landslides.

Those rescued include a number of children. Most have been taken to Lochearnhead or to the nearby village of Killin.

Central Scotland Police said the landslide followed heavy rain in the area.

Deputy Firemaster Geoffrey Williams said: "There was one vehicle which definitely went over the edge.

It was a very slick rescue
Michael Mulford
RAF Kinloss
"Our firefighters made their way to that and ensured there was nobody inside that vehicle."

Michael Mulford, spokesman for RAF Kinloss, said: "A landslide cut across them and one behind them.

"There was a real risk not from the two that happened but from the one that might follow.

"They were caught between two landslides. They could not get out and the rescue teams could not get in."

Mr Mulford said it was essential to airlift the people to safety before any further landslides made the area more dangerous.

People got very cold, wet and frightened during the rescue operation, he went on.

"It was a very slick rescue. A lot of the children were quite distressed."

The BBC's John Morrison
"Some of the people had a narrow escape"

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