Second body recovered at site of Quebec quarry landslide
Published Saturday, February 2, 2013 9:46AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 2, 2013 9:53PM EST
Rescue workers have recovered a second body at the site of a massive landslide at a Quebec quarry earlier this week.
Quebec provincial police Sgt. Benoit Richard confirmed that the woman’s body was located at about 6:20 p.m. local time Saturday.
The discovery of the second body came hours after police announced they had recovered the body of a man at the site. They made that discovery around 12:45 p.m. local time, less than two hours after search crews began their day’s work.
“We found the person almost at the exact place we were thinking he might be,” Richard said earlier Saturday after the first body was recovered. The man’s body was taken to a nearby hospital to be identified by the family. Police later released the victim’s name: Daniel Brisebois, 54.
Richard added that officials believed the body of the missing female would be found close by.
Search and rescue teams had resumed their search for the two missing workers on Saturday morning after technicians deemed the area surrounding the quarry safe. The search was halted Friday after concerns that the area was at risk of another landslide.
A man and a woman had been missing since Tuesday in L’Epiphanie, Que., after a landslide swept their vehicles into a 100-metre-deep gravel pit.
On Friday, equipment and 20 rescuers were lowered to the bottom of the quarry. However, the site was later evacuated after technicians deemed the ground too unstable to continue search efforts. Strong winds had halted the rescue efforts Thursday.
Richard said earlier Saturday that those working on the recovery effort had been taking precautions to avoid triggering another landslide as they continued to search for the second body.
Benoit Robert survived the landslide Tuesday after rescue workers pulled him out of the caved-in pit via helicopter.
Robert, 47, said moments before the landslide he was warned by a female co-worker in a nearby truck.
The female co-worker and another male worker, both believed to be in their 40s, were reported missing after the slide.
Richard said both the provincial police force and the workplace health and safety board have opened an investigation into both the cause of the slide, and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent it.
With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Montreal’s Laura Casella