Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 10:02 UK

Team set for quake rescue mission

Earthquake damage in Padang, West Sumatra (30 Sept 2009)
At least 529 people are known to have died in the earthquake

A UK-based international rescue team is preparing to fly out to the Indonesian island of Sumatra following Wednesday's earthquake.

More than 1,000 people are now known to have died in the disaster, however there are fears that number could rise.

The volunteers from the International Rescue Corps, based in Grangemouth, have been asked to help in the rescue effort by the Indonesian government.

Ten members of the IRC are due to leave for Sumatra from Heathrow on Friday.

Julie Ryan, from the IRC, said the volunteers from across the UK were due to arrive in the disaster zone to help those caught up in the earthquake.

'Formal request'

She said the organisation had specialist equipment, including camera systems, which can penetrate rubble to search for survivors trapped in collapsed buildings.

The rescue team is made up of three female members from Scotland, Norwich and London, and seven male members from Scotland, Liverpool, Hartlepool, Penrith and Beverley.

The volunteers are also equipped with sound listening devices and carbon dioxide detectors.

Ms Ryan added: "We received a formal request from the Indonesian government to help with the rescue effort.

"We have volunteers who have trained for over three years for these kinds of events and we are keen to get out there and help where we can."

The IRC's volunteers most recently assisted in the rescue operation following the earthquake in the Sichuan province in China last year.

They were also involved in the rescue of those caught up in the fatal Maryhill plastics factory blast in Glasgow in 2004.

The IRC was formed by a group of Falkirk-based firefighters in 1981.

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