Iraq: More bodies retrieved from rubble of collapsed shrine in Karbala
Rescuers in the Iraqi province of Karbala had on Monday retrieved a further two bodies from rubble after a roof collapse at a Shia shrine, bringing the total number recovered to seven.
At least one child was among those who died in the accident.
Rescue workers had earlier said they were struggling to retrieve "between six and eight people" who were still believed to be trapped under rubble.
"Unfortunately, we found this morning two bodies, a man and a woman," under the rubble of the Qattarat al-Imam Ali shrine, said Jawdat Abdelrahman, director of the civil defence media department, speaking to AFP.
A landslide hit the shrine, which is in a natural depression, on Saturday afternoon.
"Saturation of the earthen embankment adjacent to the shrine" due to humidity caused the slide, the civil defence told the official Iraqi News Agency.
"This led to the collapse of about 30 percent of the area of the building, which measures about 100 square metres," he said.
Emergency services said that three children had been rescued by Saturday afternoon and they were in "good condition" in hospital.
INA said teams had been working through the night under floodlights to provide supplies of oxygen as well as food and water to people trapped through gaps in the rubble.
A number of Iraqi politicians responded to the rescue effort, praising the team involved.
"We ask God Almighty for a speedy recovery for the injured and patience and strength for those under the rubble and we pray for quick efforts to save them," tweeted Qais al-Khazali, the head of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq organisation.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi also tweeted that he was in touch with the workers.
"In a telephone conversation with the governor of Karbala and its officials, Mr Kadhimi stressed the importance of making immediate efforts by the rescue teams in the civil defence, and performing the duty in the fullest manner," his office tweeted.
Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.