At least 13 dead in Italy mudslide

 

At least thirteen people have died and forty have been injured after rainstorms in Sicily destroyed homes and washed away roads around Messina, where rescue workers dug through the mud to find survivors.

Some people took refuge on the roofs of their homes and were plucked to safety by helicopter. Local media said at least 40 people were being treated for injuries in hospital.

Some people took refuge on roofs and were plucked to safety by helicopter. One man died, trapped in his car when it was hit by a torrent of water and mud, while another man survived after climbing out of his submerged vehicle.

"I was driving home when suddenly all this stuff came down on top of me and hit me full on. I managed to climb out of the car. It was a terrible experience," the unnamed survivor, still covered in mud, was quoted by local media as saying.

Italian rescue service chief Guido Bertolaso said the number of fatalities had risen to 13 while at least 40 people were being treated in hospital for their injuries.

Messina Mayor Giuseppe Buzzanca said his town had been cut off by the rains which had taken out the roads and railways, so the injured were being transported by sea. He urged doctors, nurses and volunteers to go to the stricken zone to help.