Mudslide Swallows House in Germany, 3 Missing

A mudslide undermined a house and
buried it in a crater along a lake shore in central Germany on
Saturday. Three people who lived in it were missing.

"It is too dangerous to search for the missing persons, the
hillside is still moving," local fire department spokesman
Christoph Voigt said in the town of Nachterstedt.

The destroyed building, half of a pair of attached houses,
slipped down about 100 yards (100 meters) to nearby Lake Concordia
and was buried under mud and water.

"Everything must have happened within a few seconds," said
county official Ulrich Reder.

Authorities confirmed that a 48-year-old woman and two men, 50
and 51 years old, were missing. They lived in the collapsed
building and were probably asleep at the time of the accident.

Officials said they were still trying to find out if a fourth
person was also missing.

The residents of the other side of the pair of houses, which was
damaged, were on vacation, Ursula Rothe, a county spokeswoman said.

Rothe said a 350-yard (350-meter) section of the lakeshore broke
off, burying part of a street with mud and gravel. The cause for
the mudslide was not known.

Police cordoned off the area and 44 residents were taken away.

The lake is a former coal pit that was flooded in 1994.


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