The Iraqi rescue teams have been trying since yesterday to rescue people trapped under the rubble after the fall of a dirt hill on the Qattara Imam Ali shrine, located 25 km west of Karbala, whereby it is believed that at least six people are still stranded, according to the Civil Defense on Sunday.
Rescue teams have succeeded in pulling three children out so far from under the rubble, and said that they are “in good health and have been taken to the hospital to follow up on their health.”
However, it is expected that “six to eight people are still stranded,” civil defense spokesman Nawas Sabah Shaker told AFP, stressing that rescue operations are continuing.
He explained that “sand dunes and rocks collapsed due to the high humidity on the shrine building,” which is located on low ground surrounded by sand and rocks.
He added that this “caused the collapse of about 30 percent of the building’s area, which is estimated at one hundred square meters.”
The Directorate of Civil Defense told the “Iraqi News Agency” that work was continuing throughout the night, adding that its teams were able to “deliver oxygen, drinking water and food to the stranded persons by making holes in the pile of rubble and concrete blocks, with continuous verbal communication to reassure them.”