Rescuers recover 21 bodies from earthquake-hit Nepal village

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepali rescue workers have pulled out 21 bodies that were buried when a devastating earthquake triggered a landslide along a popular trekking route almost six months ago, officials said on Monday.

Efforts to recover the bodies of about 100 foreign trekkers and locals hit by the April landslide in Langtang village and surrounding area have been delayed by fresh avalanches and because the victims are buried under thick layers of ice and rock.

It took the latest rescue team almost two weeks to recover the bodies, local government official Udbhav Bhattarai said.

Avadhesh Bista, police chief of Rasuwa district, where Langtang is located, said 15 of the bodies were identified as locals. DNA testing will determine if the rest are Nepalis or foreigners, he said.

Bista said police would continue to search for the missing.

Langtang village, 60km north of Kathmandu, was one of the areas worst hit by the earthquakes.

It is the most popular trekking location in Nepal after the Annapurna and Everest region.

The village was swept away by a massive torrent of snow and rock triggered by the first of two quakes to hit Nepal in April and May.