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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

At Least One Russian Killed in Crimean Beach Landslide

KIEV — A landslide buried a Black Sea beach in Ukraine with soil on Tuesday, killing at least one Russian sunbather and trapping as many as four others, emergency officials said.

The landslide, which occurred around noon, sent some 600 cubic meters of soil onto the beach near Sevastopol, said Dmytro Boguslavskiy, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry.

The body of a Russian was pulled from under the soil, and four other people were pulled out alive, said Valentyna Pedos, another spokeswoman for emergency services. A witness, who was not identified, told officials that he and others were saved by running into the sea when the landslide occurred, the emergency ministry said in a statement.

Russian news agencies quoted the Russian Consulate in Sevastopol as saying that the victim was a 16-year-old girl from the Volgograd region.

Russian state television later reported from the scene that the body of another Russian woman had been found, but the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry could not confirm this information.

Pedos said emergency officials believed another four people were still trapped, based on accounts of those rescued. Earlier, emergency officials had said as many as 10 people were trapped.

Rescue work was proceeding slowly because the area was difficult to access and required rescuers to dig by hand, Pedos said. She said days of heavy rain were likely to blame for the landslide.

The isolated beach was supposed to be off-limits to vacationers, she said.

Ukrainian Emergency Situations Minister David Zhvania arrived at the site to oversee the rescue work. Zhvania promised that work would continue until all victims are found.

Around 500 rescuers were taking part in the operation, including 200 sailors from the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol, Itar-Tass reported.

Black Sea beaches are popular summer vacation destinations for Ukrainians and Russians.