June 15, 2008 in Nation/World

World in brief: Rescuers dig for victims at resort

The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

A woman reacts to news of a relative’s death after an earthquake in Kurihara, Japan, on Saturday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

Rescue teams using shovels and buckets tried today to dig their way to seven people believed trapped in a landslide at a hot springs resort after an earthquake pounded the mountains of northern Japan, killing at least six and injuring more than 200.

Fire department squads worked as military helicopters buzzed overhead and frequent aftershocks posed the threat of ground collapsing under their feet.

Saturday’s 7.2-magnitude quake triggered several major landslides, blocking roads and stranding bathers at the resort, which is located in a heavily forested mountainous area outside the small city of Kurihara. Crews searching for the missing had to hike mountain trails and dig their way to the worst-hit areas.


Woman’s family locked her in room

An Italian woman whose family kept her locked in a room for almost two decades after she was accused of becoming pregnant out of wedlock has been freed by police, authorities and media reports said.

Police said they found the 47-year-old woman Friday in a filthy room in the family’s home near Naples. The woman was hospitalized Saturday in the psychiatric ward of a Naples hospital, the ANSA news agency reported.

Authorities arrested the woman’s brother, a farmhand, and sister, who worked in a nursery school, and put her 80-year-old mother under house arrest. The three were being investigated on suspicion of mistreatment and kidnapping.

Police said the woman’s son, now 17, was living with relatives in town and didn’t know about his mother.

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