11-year-old girl identified as 4th victim of Alaska landslide

The body of a fourth person has been recovered following a massive landslide last week in a remote Alaskan fishing community.

Authorities have identified 11-year-old Kara Heller as the fourth victim confirmed killed by last Monday’s catastrophe. The girl’s parents, Timothy and Beth Heller, and her 16-year-old sister Mara Heller were also confirmed dead in the initial search. Rescue crews are still searching the debris for a third child in the family and a neighbor who are still missing. 

The swath of destruction was estimated to be about 450 feet wide and engulfed multiple homes in the island community of Wrangell, Alaska, about 155 miles south of the state capital of Juneau. The slide sent a swath of dirt and debris down a mountainside and onto a highway, blocking dozens of homes from accessing the town.

In the meantime, boats are being used to provide residents with food, water, fuel and other essential supplies. Water taxis are also being provided to any residents seeking to evacuate the area, and a local church has offered food and lodging for those who are displaced. 

Alaska Department of Public Safety spokesperson Austin McDaniel said teams have been using drones, helicopters, planes and search dogs to survey the wreckage for the two people who remain missing. Crews have also begun methodically clearing debris from the highway, hoping to turn up any clue to their whereabouts.