Landslide kills at least 18 in Ecuador capital

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Residents and soldiers work to clear mud from the streets

A rain-weakened hillside has collapsed in Ecuador’s capital, sweeping over homes and a sports field and killing at least 18 people, rescue officials said.

The government’s emergency agency said at least three homes were destroyed in Quito and neighbours joined rescue workers in hunting through the ruins for survivors.

The rescue agency initially reported 14 known dead, but Metropolitan District police Commander Cesar Zapata later told Ecuavisa television that four more victims had been found.

Images from the collapse showed waves of mud, some three metres (10ft) high, carrying vehicles, rubbish bins and other debris under a heavy rain on Monday night in the neighbourhoods of La Gasca and Armero on the slopes of the Ruco Pinchincha mountain.

As the rescue began, police called for silence so the cries of those trapped could be heard.

Images from the collapse showed waves of mud, some three metres (10ft) high, carrying vehicles, rubbish bins and other debris under a heavy rain on Monday night in the neighbourhoods of La Gasca and Armero on the slopes of the Ruco Pinchincha mountain.

As the rescue began, police called for silence so the cries of those trapped could be heard.

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