Thai Rescuers Spend Third Day Searching for Flood Disaster Victims
Rescue workers in northern Thailand Monday continued to pull decomposing bodies from the mud and debris left by weekend flash floods and landslides that killed at least 86 people.
Nearly 100 others were missing after the disaster that struck seven villages in Phetchabun province's Lom Sak district before dawn Saturday, damaging 300 homes and leaving some 1,000 people homeless.
District chief Samran Boonrodreuk said teams of soldiers and volunteers spending a third day scouring the wreckage of the settlements did not expect to find any more survivors.
"They are searching for the dead by smelling for their bodies. We believe the missing people have died," he told AFP.
A spokesman for the Lom Sak district authorities said the death toll had risen to 86, with 96 others unaccounted for, and that rescuers working with bulldozers and other heavy equipment were unearthing more corpses.
"The death toll will go higher, but the number is still uncertain as we continue to find more bodies," he said.
Many of the victims were women and children who were unable to scramble to higher ground when the torrent of mud and water swept down the Kor mountain which towers over the region.
Their bodies were wrapped in white sheets and placed in simple wooden coffins that were stacked in local temples, awaiting mass cremations which began taking place Monday in open fields.
Amid the devastation, a rescue team reported finding one survivor, a four-year-old boy who was washed into a clump of bamboo by the floods which swept through his home -- BANGKOK (AFP)
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