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Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Crews search for bodies after earthen dam failure

March 16, 2006

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— Searchers with dogs looked for bodies in the mud and debris Wednesday after a dam break released a roaring, tree-snapping torrent of water and raised fears about the safety of dozens of similar dams across Hawaii.

Search crews found one body and looked for many as six other people, all from one family.

The century-old earthen dam collapsed before dawn Tuesday after days of heavy rain swelled the Kaloko Reservoir behind it. The water swept away houses on two multimillion-dollar properties in the rugged hills of the island of Kauai, cutting a three-mile path of destruction to the sea.

Officials feared another dam downstream also might fail, and crews worked to pump water out of its reservoir. Structural experts arrived to inspect the reservoir.

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