The bodies of three men have been recovered at a mudslide near Lillooet, B.C., following search efforts this week, the RCMP said.
One deceased person was recovered on Wednesday, while two others were found on Thursday, B.C. Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a written statement on Saturday.
The search continued on Friday to locate a fourth man who was reported missing, but those attempts were unsuccessful, she said.
On Monday, the body of a woman was also recovered from the slide site — becoming the first confirmed fatality as a result of catastrophic flooding and landslides across the southern half of the province caused, in part, by extreme rain last weekend.
Search efforts have now concluded as all avenues have been exhausted, Lapointe said, but discussions are underway to determine how best to proceed going forward.
Police are now trying to identify the three men and notify their next of kin.
“I also extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who are now grieving the sudden and unexpected death of their loved one, and to the family of the missing person we have so far been unable to locate,” Lapointe said in the statement.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us in B.C., and my heart goes out to the many families and communities who have suffered tragic losses. At the BC Coroners Service, we will continue to do our best to determine the facts of these tragedies for the public record and, where possible, make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.”
Pemberton SAR responded to a mudslide on Duffy Lake Rd/Highway 99 this afternoon as several vehicles caught in mudslide. <a href=”https://t.co/niJBDo76bN”>pic.twitter.com/niJBDo76bN</a>
Police, along with search-and-rescue crews, had been looking for four missing people connected to a mudslide that swept across a section of Highway 99 — also known as the Duffey Lake Road — on Nov. 15.
B.C. RCMP Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said efforts to find the fourth missing person have been hampered by weather and site conditions.
The area remains closed to motorists with no timeline on when the highway will reopen.