Saturday, October 08, 2005

British rescue teams head for Pakistan after quake

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Britain is sending search and rescue experts, sniffer dogs and aid workers to help Pakistan with the aftermath of Saturday's earthquake, officials said.

"We offered immediate assistance to the government of Pakistan which they have accepted," International Development Minister Hilary Benn said.

A first search and rescue team left London's Heathrow airport early on Saturday evening and a second plane was due to leave later from East Midlands airport near Nottingham.

The second plane would include rescue teams and sniffer dogs from aid agencies and fire brigades as well as consular staff and humanitarian supplies such as blankets, the Department for International Development said.

It was due to arrive at an air base in Islamabad at 8 a.m. local time on Sunday.

"We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and are ready to support the Pakistani authorities further, should they need our assistance," Benn said.

Source: Reuters AlertNet
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