Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

A mudslide rushed over a B.C. highway, trapping up to 10 people

Key takeaway:

  • After a mudslide on a major highway in southern British Columbia, officials estimate that up to ten individuals were trapped in their cars.
  • Centuries of cars pulled over to the side of the highway after the slope and road in front of them fell into the valley below. 

Officials estimate that up to ten people were trapped in their cars after a mudslide on a major highway in southern British Columbia on Sunday.

A highly trained crew has been dispatched to Highway 7 near Agassiz, B.C., east of Vancouver, to rescue people trapped in significant collapses.

In a phone interview with CBC News shortly after midnight P.T., team director David Boone said, “Our understanding is there were six to ten persons stranded.”

Some persons inside vehicles escaped the initial slide, he claimed, according to his crew.

“We hear there were some people in vehicles who were able to warn 911 callers that they required assistance through ways of contact,” he said.

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Boone hadn’t seen the debris field in person at the time of his interview, but he estimated it to be at least 100 metres wide and 100 metres long.

“It’s from the mountain above,” he continued, “but in the dark, it’s impossible to determine how high up the mountain the slope has been damaged.”

After more than a day of torrential rain, several mudslides stopped the route near Agassiz on Sunday evening.

Witness hears honking and calls for assistance.

Centuries of cars pulled over to the side of the highway after the slope and road in front of them fell into the valley below. Adam Wuisman and his fiancée were stranded, including one landslide in front of them and another behind them.

“You can actually hear honking and crying for aid down in the valley,” he told CBC News over the phone from his automobile.

“We must have missed the first [slide], and now we’re stuck between the two… There are 200 to 300 vehicles parked in the area, waiting for any sort of information.”

Up to 10 people believed trapped in mudslide that swept across B.C. highway

‘I don’t think they’ll be able to get here,’ 

After three hours stalled on the road, Wuisman, heading home to Richmond, B.C., said he hadn’t seen any first responders.

He said, “I don’t think they’ll be able to get here.”

Around 1:45 a.m., the HUSAR task force, based in Vancouver, was expected to arrive at the avalanche scene.

The Agassiz Fire Department and the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP were not immediately accessible for comment.

Flooding, mudslides, evacuations in Abbotsford, B.C., and traffic closures across the province were all caused by a rainfall that hit the region on Sunday.

According to Drive B.C, two mudslides have been confirmed on Highway 7 between Agassiz and Hope, B.C. The provincial agency tweeted that one slide was at Ruby Creek, and also another was not far away at Mt. Woodside.

Emil Anderson Maintenance, the Fraser Valley’s roads contractor, said personnel attempted to extricate automobiles stranded between slides. According to the company, no injuries have been reported as of Sunday evening.

Source: CBC News

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