Authorities deployed helicopters to free hundreds of highway commuters who were stranded in landslides on Nov. 15.
British Columbia Helicopters rescued nearly 275 victims, including 50 minors, from 100 vehicles trapped near Agassiz–125 kilometers (78 miles) east of downtown Vancouver. Evacuees were safely airlifted to Agassiz.
Severe rainstorms earlier inundated bridges, caused landslides, delayed flights, and even shut down an oil pipeline according to Reuters.
Rescued victims recalled the moment they feared for their lives.
“All three of us were kind of hyping each other up, saying it is going to be good [and] we are going to get out of here,” survivor Melanie Forsythe said according to the Associated Press. “Then we all had moments like, ‘Is this it? Is this the last time we are going to see our kids?’ … It was just a scary situation.”
Another evacuee revealed the landslide partially crushed a 9 year-old child inside one vehicle. None of the survivors had food or water while waiting for help to arrive.
The Independent reported no fatalities. The disaster came months after Canada experienced wildfires that destroyed at least one town.