Three workers presumed dead after landslide strikes Alaska construction site

Updated Aug 24, 2015

A residential jobsite was in the destructive path of one of six landslides caused by heavy rains in southeast Alaska where two workers were killed and one more is presumed dead.

According to a report from Alaska Dispatch News, the bodies of two workers, brothers 26-year-old Elmer Diaz and 25-year-old Ulises Diaz, have been recovered in the wake of the Tuesday landslide in Sitka. Crews are still searching for the body of a third man presumed to have been killed by the disaster, 62-year-old building inspector William Stortz, ADN reports.

Sitka Police Department Chief Sheldon Scmitt told ADN all three men were working on a residential jobsite when a landslide came down a nearby mountain and swept over the site.

The Diaz brothers had been doing drywall work and painting at the site, while Stortz, the town’s fire marshall, was performing inspections.

Search dogs and heavy equipment were used in the effort to recover the bodies from the massive amounts of mud, trees and other debris.

The rains caused at least five other landslides in the area and one sinkhole.