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The number of people known to have died when a hillside collapsed in western Japan has hit 27, the government said Wednesday, with a further 10 people still unaccounted for.
The figures came following a morning of intense efforts to reach those believed buried in their splintered homes by mud in Hiroshima after the overnight landslide.
"According to the National Police Agency, the death toll has risen to 27 and 10 others are still unaccounted for," said an official of the disaster management office, a government body.
Among the dead was a 53-year-old rescuer, who was killed by a secondary landslide after he had pulled five people to safety, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
Watch: Landslide claims at least 27 lives in Japan