Home Sections Safety BC Coroner confirms four deceased & one missing due to storm-driven landslide

BC Coroner confirms four deceased & one missing due to storm-driven landslide

Maps: Duffy Lake area & all BC storm flood zones

Saturday November 20, 2021 | Reporting on LOWER MAINLAND, BC

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

Now four deaths and one person remaining missing was the focus of today’s morning news release from the BC Coroners Service. This comes after five days of searching in the Duffy Lake area following a landslide there as caused by exceptionally heavy rainfall.

Duffy Lake is located west of Kamloops in the province’s interior.

Today Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth opened a Saturday morning BC emergency media briefing with condolences to the families who have been impacted by this sudden loss of life, caused by a natural disaster.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming this morning thanked the workers who’ve been tireless in their efforts to deal with highway damage issues as a result of the storm. Highways 99, 3 and 7 remain “severely damaged”, though traffic is getting through in various ways.

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Four fatalities and one missing person near Duffy Lake due to Nov 15, 2021 rainstorm landslide. [Google map]

Coroner’s statement:

Today Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe released the following statement about search and recovery efforts at the mudslide at Duffy Lake:

“Over the past five days, a small team of forensic coroners has worked alongside law enforcement and search and rescue professionals to try to locate people who were reported missing after the extreme rainfall event and subsequent mudslide near Duffy Lake.

“One person was located deceased on Monday, Nov. 15. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, the team recovered another deceased individual, and two additional decedents were recovered on Thursday, Nov. 18. Efforts continued Friday, Nov. 19 to locate a fifth person reported as missing, but unfortunately those attempts were unsuccessful. Despite incredibly challenging conditions, the dedication and teamwork demonstrated by everyone involved in the search are a testament to the professionalism of each organization, and I wish to recognize the significant efforts of our partners throughout this difficult time.

“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.

“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.”

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Map showing the location of floods and impacted highways in BC due to November 15, 2021 rainstorm. [Google Maps]
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===== RELATED:

One woman dead, others missing, after mudslide sweeps cars off highway north of Pemberton, B.C. (Global News – November 16, 2021)

Three missing men found dead at site of BC mudslide (City News – November 20, 2021)

Three more bodies recovered at site of B.C. mudslide, death toll rises to four (National Post – November 20, 2021)