Bam's death toll estimated at 40,000

Dec. 28, 2003 at 12:15 AM
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BAM, Iran, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Thousands of rescue workers, apparently still nearly outnumbered by victims, early Sunday probed the wasteland left by the earthquake around Bam, Iran.

The death toll remained uncertain but massive in scope, with some estimates as high as 40,000 dead and several times that number injured, The New York Times reported.

Fairfax County, Va., sent 73 people with special detection equipment to listen for signs of life, part of a growing international rescue force of several hundred who are helping the many thousands of Iranian rescuers working frantically to move and examine rubble.

Aftershocks have cracked apart many of the buildings that survived the initial 12 seconds of devastation.

Trenches were being dug for mass burials while thousands of injured were trucked and flown to hospitals around Iran.

CBS reported an American was injured when the ancient Silk Road settlement's 2,000 year old mud-brick citadel, Arg-e-Bam, toppled.

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