Papua New Guinea landslide buries 15 people

(Reuters) – A landslide in a remote region of Papua New Guinea has buried 15 people including three children, all feared dead, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

The people were asleep in a long house near a mine where they had been panning for gold, when the landslide, dragging trees and logs with it, buried the hut in the Goilala district of PNG’s Central Province early on Monday.

“Unfortunately, there are no survivors, from what we hear,” Goilala’s member of parliament William Samb, who flew to the site, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Only two bodies have been recovered so far, with locals working with shovels and pitchforks to dig through the debris.

The recovery effort has been hampered by heavy rains, which may have triggered the landslide, and the remote location, reachable only by helicopter or a two-hour walk, a spokesman for Samb said.