Search for victims of Guatemala landslide called off with dozens still missing

CNN  — 

The search for victims of a massive landslide that engulfed much of the Guatemalan village of El Cambray has been called off.

After nearly two weeks of digging through the huge mound of earth that buried homes and their inhabitants, searchers have recovered 271 bodies.

Dozens of people remain missing, according to authorities.

The National Disaster Reduction Commission said Tuesday it was halting search operations but some of its staff would remain on site to keep working on rebuilding the village.

David De Leon, a spokesman for the agency, said there was little chance of finding any survivors after 13 days. He told CNN that the air quality and other conditions at the site were hazardous for the emergency crew.

Disaster struck El Cambray, which is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Guatemala City, late on October 1 when heavy rains caused the side of a towering hill to suddenly break loose and come crashing down on the village below.

In the aftermath of the catastrophe, some villagers dug through the mud and debris with their hands to try to find their missing loved ones.

CNN’s Alban Zamora contributed to this report.